The Best Aquarium Heaters (2021 Reviews)

Skylar Dial
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Keeping your aquarium at the right temperature is important. Temperature is a key factor in whether or not your tropical fish, shrimp, or plants live and thrive or struggle and die. Fortunately, you can easily get the right aquarium heater to keep the water in your aquarium cool or warm depending on your needs.

These are the best aquarium heaters for the money in June, 2021. Temperature is a key factor for the health of your fish and other tropicals in your tank and most fish require water temperatures between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

A heat-proof glass bulb is the ideal temperature indicator. It allows you to easily see the temperature in your aquarium at a glance and will be the first to change colors if the temperature in your tank becomes too high or too low.

You should place your aquarium heater close to your filtration unit in order to maintain the temperature of your water properly. Some aquarium heaters also include remote temperature indicators helping you ensure the aquarium water is a safe temperature at all times. All of the heaters on our list include an adjustable temperature controller for accurate settings and help you control the temperature in your tank according to the water required by your tropical fish and/or plants.

NameCategoryProduct
hygger Saltwater Tank Titanium Tube Submersible Pinpoint Aquarium HeaterBest Overallhygger Saltwater Tank Titanium Tube Submersible Pinpoint Aquarium Heater
Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium HeaterBudget PickTetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater
ISTA Micro Temperature Controller Thermostat 500W/1000W Heater Heating Aquarium Tank GloballyUpgrade PickISTA Micro Temperature Controller Thermostat 500W/1000W Heater Heating Aquarium Tank Globally

1. hygger Saltwater Tank Titanium Tube Submersible Pinpoint Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 9 / 10

hygger Saltwater Tank Titanium Tube Submersible Pinpoint Aquarium Heater

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Pros:

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Compact size
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Comes at a mid-range price
  • Easy to adjust temperature
  • It’s highly accurate
  • Can be used for a variety of applications
  • Can be used both in salt and freshwater

Cons:

  • It’s not the most reliable heater
  • The warranty is only for 90 days!

If you’re looking for an accurate pinpoint heater with a digital display, then the Hygger Saltwater Tank Titanium might be just what you’re looking for. One of its greatest benefits is its accuracy, which is the result of its built-in high precision sensor.

The digital display also makes it very easy to adjust the temperature. It also comes with a memory function which allows you to save a preferred setting.

2. Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater

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Want a heater that will lower your energy and heating costs while keeping your fish alive and happy? Then you’re going to need theTetra HT 240W submersible aquarium heater that offers the features you need most without the features you don’t need.

The Tetra HT 240W submersible heater is a compact 24-watt aquarium heater that can heat up to 25 gallons of water.

The small-sized heater’s compact design makes it the best for smaller aquariums where space is a premium, but the water temperature builds up due to winter weather and fluctuating electricity.

3. hygger Saltwater Tank Titanium Tube Submersible Pinpoint Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

hygger Saltwater Tank Titanium Tube Submersible Pinpoint Aquarium Heater

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Pros:

  • Exceptional customer service
  • Compact size
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Comes at a mid-range price
  • Easy to adjust temperature
  • It’s highly accurate
  • Can be used for a variety of applications
  • Can be used both in salt and freshwater

Cons:

  • It’s not the most reliable heater
  • The warranty is only for 90 days!

If you’re looking for an accurate pinpoint heater with a digital display, then the Hygger Saltwater Tank Titanium might be just what you’re looking for. One of its greatest benefits is its accuracy, which is the result of its built-in high precision sensor.

The digital display also makes it very easy to adjust the temperature. It also comes with a memory function which allows you to save a preferred setting.

4. FREESEA Aquarium Heater Fish Tank Submersible Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

FREESEA Aquarium Heater Fish Tank Submersible Heater

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Pros:

  • Higher wattage means it can heat larger tanks
  • LED light changes color according to the temperature of the water in the tank
  • Great for small ponds and water gardens too
  • Includes a cord to switch it between Celsius and Fahrenheit
  • Fast heating
  • Accurate temperature gauge
  • Safe Heating due to the auto shut down feature, and automatic temperature controller

Cons:

  • It doesn’t come with a thermostat
  • Not for saltwater tanks
  • The thermometer doesn’t have a battery
  • The heater isn’t battery operable

If people say that good things come in small packages, then the 50watt aquarium heater proves that by being one of the smallest heaters out there. It’s only 1.4 inches long and 1.1 inches wide and it weighs just 3 ounces.

The elegant design of the heater makes it suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. It has a color changing LED light that tells you the temperature of the water. Anything from warm to very hot. It’s ideal for tropical plants, and fish from your regular fish tank.

5. SZELAM 25W Smart Mini Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

SZELAM 25W Smart Mini Aquarium Heater

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5, 3.0 and 3.5 Gallon)

Looking for a dependable aquarium heater that you can rely on when you’re away?

Well, look no further than the 25W Smart aquarium heater from SZELAM. It’s shaped just like a leaf – that adds a nice touch of aesthetics to any home or office. It also comes in three colors: black, red/black and red.

6. Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater,100W/150W/200W/300W Fish Tahk Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater,100W/150W/200W/300W Fish Tahk Heater

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Pros:

  • The compact size that can fit into both planted and marine aquariums
  • It doesn’t require any maintenance since it’s automatic
  • The probe is thermocouple and capable of reaching down to 100 feet (29 meters)
  • The LED screen display is easy to read
  • The on/off switch is located at the top of the probe which is convenient
  • The design is flexible and durable
  • It’s completely silent

7. Grow Genration Elemental Solutions H2O Titanium Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Grow Genration Elemental Solutions H2O Titanium Heater

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100-220V for Aquarium, Hydroponics, Cooling, Pond and Pondless Water Feature.

With a capacity of 200 watts, this heater is ideal for aquariums with a capacity of 20 gallons and under.

It comes in compact size, which means it will fit in small spaces (like those aquariums with limited space) and ensures that it doesn’t consume a lot of electricity either.

8. Fluval E Electronic Heater

Our rating: 8 / 10

Fluval E Electronic Heater

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The Fluval E Electronic Heater utilizes its notorious precision, which allows it to heat water with pinpoint accuracy – no more guessing what temperature your water is.

This heater runs on 3.5 watts and is capable of reaching up to 86 degrees.

It comes in a 5.08” x 2.92” x 1.61” design and is perfectly suited for aquariums that have a volume of 5 liters and below.

9. Submersible Heater

Our rating: 7 / 10

Submersible Heater

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Pros:

  • Resistant to Rust & Corrosion
  • Won’t Overheat & Can’t Break
  • Which Makes It The Ideal Aquarium Heater
  • Won’t Change The Temperature Of The Water
  • Can Be Used For Saltwater Aquariums

Best Overall: Hydrofarm High Performance Submersible Aquarium Heater

There’s an enormous number of submersible aquarium heaters that are available on the market … I’m not even sure we can trust how many there are. The most important thing is to make the right choice, and that’s what we’re here to help you with.

By now, you’re probably aware of the fact that having the right temperature for your aquarium is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy Betta fish. The temperature range for a healthy Betta fish is between 76 and 79 degrees – if you’re not sure how to measure, it’s pretty straight forward.

10. Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater

Our rating: 7 / 10

Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater

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Aquatic hobbyists spend a whole lot of money and time to ensure the proper growth and environment for their aquarium plants and fish. To ensure optimal conditions the aquarium temperature needs to be maintained.

A proper temperature is required to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria that help keep the water clean. More bacteria, means a cleaner aquarium and a healthy environment for your fish.

The Cobalt Aquatics Flat Neo-Therm Heater comes in 1/20/40 Watt models. This was a concern for us because aquarium heating requirements can be different from each tank.

11. Finnex Digital Heater Controller

Our rating: 7 / 10

Finnex Digital Heater Controller

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Pros:

  • Multiple temperature settings
  • Cost-effective
  • Fast heat-up time
  • Easy to install
  • Compatible with various tanks
  • Safe for fish and invertebrates

Cons:

  • The plastic knob seems cheap
  • Not durable for larger tanks
  • Not accurate
  • The customer service doesn’t deliver

The Finnex Digital Aquarium Heater Deluxe Titanium gives you ‘total control’ of your aquarium water’s temperature. It comes with an adjustable and fully programmable digital thermostat that you can set to your preferred temperature.

It monitors any changes in the tank’s temperature and has a 3-stage temperature control system that prevents the heater from overheating. The Finnex also comes with an automatic shutdown feature that prevents the device from getting damaged in case of a power outage.

Depending on the size of the tank, you can purchase the Finnex Digital Aquarium Heater Deluxe Titanium in a 150W or 300W version. It is made from a fire-resistant titanium sheath that prevents corrosion. The stainless steel heating element is also rust-proof.

12. HITOP Adjustable Submersible Aquarium Fish Tank Heater

Our rating: 7 / 10

HITOP Adjustable Submersible Aquarium Fish Tank Heater

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Stable
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable
  • Safe
  • Submersible
  • Has a 6ft long cord

Cons:

  • The fish tank clips are sharp, so you need to be careful when handling the cord
  • The cord is a tad short

The HITOP aquarium heater is one of the best submersible aquarium heaters out there. It's easy to use with its fully submersible design.

With an adjustable range of 100W to 500W you can use it on almost any size aquarium. With digital display you can easily control the setting as well. The lock mode also ensures that the temperature doesn't get too hot.

The HITOP aquarium heater is suitable for both fresh and salt water.

13. 150w/300w/500w in-Line External Heater Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 7 / 10

150w/300w/500w in-Line External Heater Aquarium Heater

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Let’s face it: fish tanks are typically expensive and temperamental. To some diehards, that’s one of the reasons they love them so dearly.

Because of their complexity, they require precise heating to keep your fish alive and healthy.

That’s where in-line aquarium heaters come into play. They simply put, provide even, reliable temperature in your fish tank.

14. hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 7 / 10

hygger Submersible Aquarium Heater

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Fish need a consistent temperature in order to avoid bacterial infections and diseases. By adding the heater to your tank, you’ll be able to unlock the full potential of your water-garden. This allows you to get the most out of the fish and aquarium.

The hygger submersible heater is a great way to keep your water warm, while providing care to the fish.

It’s very easy to install and maintain. The controls are intuitive and easy to use.

15. ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 7 / 10

ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater

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The ViaAqua is a simple, yet effective aquarium heater that doesn’t break the bank and comes backed by a 1 year warranty.

The heater measures 4 x 6 x 6 inches and is made from high quality aluminum. And will heat up to 75 gallons of water.

It uses titanium heating elements which are both durable and energy efficient. You can set the temperature anywhere between 68 F to 104 F. Which is perfect for tropical and coldwater tanks.

16. GOOBAT Mini Betta Heater

Our rating: 6 / 10

GOOBAT Mini Betta Heater

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Thermostat Temperature Alarm.

The most common cause of fish deaths is from fluctuations in water temperature. And that’s why aquarium heaters are very important for their welfare.

This heater is specially designed for smaller tanks, with a maximum size of ten gallons. It’s made from top quality materials – both the cord and the switches are waterproof. So it’s highly durable and will last you a long time.

17. Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

Our rating: 6 / 10

Eheim Jager Aquarium Thermostat Heater

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Pros:

  • Slow heating reduces the risk of burns and/or water damage
  • Easy to setup
  • Quiet operation, no grating noise
  • Self-regulating surface smoothing prevents fish from biting on it
  • Ideal for both fresh and salt water
  • Stable and reliable operation
  • Powerful heating element
  • Has a green, yellow, or red light to show the temperature status
  • Can be adjusted with the Eheim Smart temperature controller

Cons:

  • It’s sensitive to aquatic gravel
  • Needs cleaning from time to time
  • Colors may fade
  • Have only 1 year warranty
  • You need to get an aquarium controller for it to work

Eheim Jager 150W Aquarium Heater is a good choice to rely on when you need to heat your home aquarium. With a stable and reliable performance, the Jager makes a good option for expert aquarium enthusiasts or beginners.

With this heater, you can be sure that your fish won’t be exposed to burns or water damage. It has a built-in thermal switch that automatically monitors the temperature. If it exceeds the set temperature, it will stop heating until it drops back below the set temperature. And if the temperature is too low, it will increase the heating effect until it reaches the desired temperature.

18. Aqueon Pro Heaters Submersible Aquarium Heaters

Our rating: 6 / 10

Aqueon Pro Heaters Submersible Aquarium Heaters

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Pros:

  • Excellent heaters
  • Suitable for newbies and not so newbies
  • They are durable and easy to clean
  • Very affordable.. and worth every penny
  • Flexible power cords for convenient placement
  • Compact and innovative design
  • It will look nice in your aquarium
  • The package comes with a simple setup guide
  • You can control the ltemperature of the water

Cons:

  • If it breaks it can be hard or impossible to fix
  • You should try to avoid dropping these on a ceramic floor from any height.

(12 Watts & 20 Watts)

This easy to use aquarium heater is built with materials that allow it to safely heat your tank for a variety of aquatic habitats. The materials are designed to hold up to the rigors of the average household aquarium.

These heaters are capable of adjusting their temperature by a few degrees more than other models. They can be set for 50F above and below the water temperature. This high degree of precision can be particularly helpful when using variable wattage aquarium heaters.

19. AquaTop Aquarium Glass Submersible Heater

Our rating: 6 / 10

AquaTop Aquarium Glass Submersible Heater

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The glass submersible heater from AquaTop is a great unit with a sleek appearance.

The package comes with the heater itself, and also a thermometer, which will come in handy for other activities besides keeping an eye on the water temperature.

The temperature is displayed on a digital screen and a backlit LCD screen. These make the temperature reading easy to read and stylishly elegant.

20. ISTA Micro Temperature Controller Thermostat 500W/1000W Heater Heating Aquarium Tank Globally

Our rating: 5 / 10

ISTA Micro Temperature Controller Thermostat 500W/1000W Heater Heating Aquarium Tank Globally

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Pros:

  • Uses the latest ISTA technology
  • The controller can be linked in series to control multiple aquarium heaters
  • Can be used with all aquarium heaters
  • Toughened glass bezel
  • 99% Copper Sheath Coil Wire
  • Easy installation

With the ISTA micro temperature controller, you can adjust the temperature of your aquarium so that it has the perfect water conditions. The temperature controller works by alternating between two different temperatures. This is great if you have one heater that’s heating your water at a specific temperature (e.g. 75 Degrees Celsius) and want a steady temperature between that temperature.

The controller goes down to a temperature of 10 Degrees Celcius, which is a pretty big temperature variance. This would be the temperature variance when you set a temperature of 60 degrees Celsius and another temperature of 70 degrees Celsius.

21. Catalina RF-1000T Heat Controller and 1000 watt Titanium Heater

Our rating: 5 / 10

Catalina RF-1000T Heat Controller and 1000 watt Titanium Heater

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Pros:

  • Keeps temperatures stable
  • Has a built-in thermostat
  • Aquarium heaters are completely submersible
  • Has a built-in thermometer
  • Consumes a small amount of energy
  • It’s easy to set up
  • Has a 5-year warranty and comes with a temperature guide and testing kit
  • Has an automatic shut-off
  • Fits in standard sized aquariums
  • Insulation sleeve keeps the heat from escaping

This temperature controller circuitry comes with a programmable 10-stage temperature controller that is capable of staying within +/-1°F.

The functions of this affordable heat controller include an automatic shutoff, a warming device, and a night time LED light.

Inside, the heat controller contains a programmable microprocessor, insulators and a flame sensing trigger. Plus, it has a thermostat.

22. Mini Heater

Our rating: 4 / 10

Mini Heater

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This small, compact little heater is best for a small aquarium or maybe you want to keep just a few tropical fish in your room.

The Mini Heater is easy to use and requires no programming, controls, or special set-up. It’s safe, energy efficient and can be used either in freshwater or saltwater tanks.

This small little heater is about the size of a quarter and only runs on 5 watts – that’s only enough to heat a small tank. It doesn’t actually heat the whole area around an aquarium, it puts out a targeted stream of heat. This product is great for smaller tanks, but it doesn’t come with a clip to secure it in place.

23. UPETTOOLS Submersible Aquarium Heater

Our rating: 4 / 10

UPETTOOLS Submersible Aquarium Heater

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The UPETO Heater is specially designed to heat aquariums up to 120 gallons. The 500W/500W model can heat up to 120L of water and up to 20L of fish tank water. It’s safe to use in fresh and salt water aquariums.

This heater is quick and easy to install, and it won’t take up any space in your aquarium, unlike other heaters.

This heater feature the latest temperature controller technology. It’s easy to use and has a 7 VDC output control, a water sensor, and a thermometer sensor. It’s UL and CUL approved.

24. MWGears 500W Deluxe Submersible Aquarium Titanium Heater

Our rating: 3 / 10

MWGears 500W Deluxe Submersible Aquarium Titanium Heater

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Pros:

  • Small and compact
  • Easy to use
  • Monitoring of the temperature is easy with the floating thermometer
  • The insulation features prevent early power loss
  • It can be submerged in water
  • It creates a balanced temperature faster than other heaters
  • Water flow isn’t affected
  • It maintains a steady temperature
  • It lasts a long time
  • It’s reasonably priced

Cons:

  • The actual temperature may be different from that read on the LCD monitor
  • Placing an aquarium water heater near aquarium power equipment could cause an electrical short

Introducing the MWGears 500W Deluxe Submersible Titanium Heater with Visible Temperature and Floating Thermometer so that you don’t have to worry about randomly dropping in the temperature in your aquarium. This aquarium heater comes with a feature that allows you to monitor the temperature in the water.

The great thing about the Submersible Titanium Heater is that it’s easy to set up, monitor and use. There’s no need to have specific technical skills to operate the aquarium heater. The heater is also very compact so you can take it with you whenever you go on a trip.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the most reliable aquarium heater?

It is important and perhaps most important to make sure that the aquarium heater you choose is rated and capable of the heat requirement that you have. Warm water fish only require about 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Coldwater fish generally do better if the water in their aquarium is kept around 65 degrees Fahrenheit. With a 40 gallon tank a 175 watt heater is a great choice. This is great for tropical fish and marine fish. If you want to include coldwater fish you can go with a 280 watt heater or something like that. It is important that you make sure you are running the right sized heater for your tank.

You can also go with a combination of the two types of heaters, a submersible (about 175 watt) heater for heating the water and an external (450 watt) heater for getting the water to the temperature you feel is most appropriate.

What is the best aquarium heater brand?

The best aquarium heater is the one that will work best with your tank. A less expensive heater might be ideal for a smaller tank, whereas a pricier heater may be better suited to a larger tank with more traffic.

The many new manufacturers and innovations in heater technology have made finding the best aquarium heater more overwhelming than ever.

By adding a heater to your aquarium, you can maintain a stable water temperature in your tank, which, in turn, reduces the risk of your fish developing disease.

Aside from the need to keep your fish healthy and comfortable, a properly maintained aquarium is far more likely to retain its appearance and atmosphere. An aquarium that is too cold might look and feel empty, whereas an aquarium that is too warm might become discolored in certain locations.

Nearly all fish prefer the same temperature settings, and it is in your best interest to make sure that you meet your fish's needs in this area.

Where should I place my aquarium heater?

This is one of the most common questions we get and in all honesty it’s a good one.

As you probably already know, aquarium heaters can produce a significant amount of heat. Incorrect placement can lead to a lot of negative effects.

You want to place your aquarium heater toward the middle of the tank.

The further away from the surface your heater is, the more stable and effective it will be.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure the tank heater is submerged around 2/3 of the way.

The other important part is to make sure you have your tank thermometer in the correct spot, which for most heaters will be right on top.

In general, it’s best to have your tank thermometer positioned near where the surface of the water meets the bottom of your tank.

Are aquarium heaters dangerous?

Yes, they are, if they are used improperly. Most accidents occur when the incorrect size of aquarium heater has been used for the setup. Always follow the instructions of the manufacturer. If you have any doubts, speak to a trusted fish store owner or your local pet store.

The most common is to use an undergravel heater together with an aquarium lamp to heat up a large tank, which is extreme overkill. Using an undergravel heater alone results in quick temperature fluctuations, which are stressful to fish. Using a submersible only is also not recommended as the constant fluctuations will quickly kill off the bacteria on the filter bed.

Always use an aquarium thermometer (or two) together with a heater to ensure the temperature remains stable.

Conclusion

The best aquarium heaters reviewed in this article are the best of the best. Why? Well… because they’re all different, and that’s what makes them “The Best.” Along with our review, you’ll also get a comprehensive buying guide that covers all things related to these aquarium heaters.

Through our reviews, we hope that you are able to select the best aquarium heater you can afford while at the same time meeting the needs of your tank.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
hygger Saltwater Tank Titanium Tube Submersible Pinpoint Aquarium HeaterBest Overallhygger Saltwater Tank Titanium Tube Submersible Pinpoint Aquarium Heater
Tetra HT Submersible Aquarium HeaterBudget PickTetra HT Submersible Aquarium Heater
ISTA Micro Temperature Controller Thermostat 500W/1000W Heater Heating Aquarium Tank GloballyUpgrade PickISTA Micro Temperature Controller Thermostat 500W/1000W Heater Heating Aquarium Tank Globally