Best Seedling Heat Mat
Starting your plants from seeds can be a bit challenging. There are several factors that will come into play that can spell your success or failure. One piece of equipment that might help you succeed is a seedling heat mat.
Read our Best Seedling Heat Mat Review to find out.
- VIVOSUN Durable Waterproof Seedling Heat Mat Warm Hydroponic Heating Pad 10" x 20.75" (Editors choice - High Quality)
- MET Certified Seedling Heat Mat (Runner up)
- Ohuhu Seedling Heat Mat 10 x 20.75 Inch, IP67 Waterproof Plants Hydroponic Heating Pad for Indoor Seedling and Germination (Amazing Price)
- iPower Durable Waterproof Seedling Heat Mat 48" x 20" (Affordable Product)
- RIOGOO 9.5"x20.5" Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat Controller 68-108°F Digital Thermostat Controller IP68 Waterproof (Great Product)
In this section we cover our top recommended heat mats for seedlings. We highlight the pros and cons of each product.
VIVOSUN Durable Waterproof Seedling Heat Mat Warm Hydroponic Heating Pad 10" x 20.75"
VIVOSUN is one of the really popular brands of heat mats in the gardening market today. This particular model can hit the ideal warming temperature range of 68-86 ℉, which allows you to maintain the most ideal growing temperature for your seedlings.
It comes with an insulating layer and a humidity dome. They help to evenly distribute the heat, create dews, and prevent seeds and new plants from drying out.
This heat mat features a multi-layer construction. This ensures that new roots that will be formed by your buds won’t get scorched or dried up due to the heat.
It is very easy to use and setup and may be a big help to first time indoor gardeners.
- Unrolls easily and a no brainer to setup
- Extra insulation prevents roots and seeds from overheating
- A bit bigger than other mats which expands your container options
- Plastic dome helps create and maintain moisture so it prevents seeds from drying out
- Requires proper handling—unit tends to break if you don’t store it properly
MET Certified Seedling Heat Mat
This heating mat is from another popular brand and manufacturer, SeedFactor. If you’re creating a hydroponic setup for your indoor garden, then this seedling heat mat may be the one you are looking for. It is durable and completely waterproof.
It comes with a durable 7.5 mm 5 foot power cord, which is more durable than the standard cords that come with these devices. And yes, the power cord is also waterproof as well.
- Easy to setup and it reaches ideal temperatures rather quickly
- MET standard compliant
- Long and durable power cord
- The mat itself is also very easy to clean
- Doesn’t come with a thermostat, which is sold separately
- Temperature is regulated and controlled manually without a 3rd party thermostat. That means you need to monitor the times when you turn it on. Having said that, you shouldn’t leave it on overnight since it may cause a fire when it overheats.
Ohuhu Seedling Heat Mat 10 x 20.75 Inch, IP67 Waterproof Plants Hydroponic Heating Pad for Indoor Seedling and Germination
This is another heating pad that is designed for gardeners doing hydroponics. It is designed to maintain the soil temperature at 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above the current ambient air temperature, which helps to speed up the germination and growth of seeds.
It also features a dual insulation system, which makes it very safe to use even if you do tend to spill water in your garden. The exterior of the mat is made from PVC and IP67 material, which makes it very water resistant.
This dual waterproofing layer also makes the pad/mat very easy to clean. All you need to do is to rinse or spray water on the mat’s surface and then wipe it off with a clean cloth.
- The cord is 6 feet long, which means you don’t really need to get an extension cord or find an area closer to an outlet.
- The two extra insulating layers prevent excess heat from reaching the soil. This reduces the chances of the mat from drying up the seeds or killing the roots of newly germinated seedlings.
- Due to its five layer design, this mat is safe to leave on for an entire day. The materials and overall design of the mat prevents it from overheating.
- This seed heat mat is designed to last long. It is corrosion resistant and very pliable.
- It can get hot for weeds and grasses, which require a lower soil temperature—around 70 to 80 degrees. Grass seeds require a slightly lower temperature range in order to grow compared to other plants.
iPower Durable Waterproof Seedling Heat Mat 48" x 20"
If you’re looking for a professional grade seed heating mat then this one from iPower may be the one that will suit your needs. As a bit of a fair warning though, this one is definitely pricey—around double the price of the other brands that are on this list.
Of course, quality does come at a price.
This heat mat is bigger and will fit the really larger seed trays; and of course it allows you to heat more pots too. The exact dimensions of its heating surface are 48" x 20".
Just like the previous model that we discussed, this one is also able to keep the soil or substrate temperature at 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit above the current ambient temperature in the room.
The surface or exterior of this iPower mat is designed to be waterproof and it works well with a humidity dome to lock moisture in. You don’t have to worry about water or mud getting on the mat because it is easy to clean.
Take note that it doesn’t come with a thermostat but it can maintain a warming temperature of 75 to 80 degrees. If you’re trying to germinate wheat grass or any similar plants then you need to get a third party thermostat.
- Highly durable
- Ensures even warming temperature without overheating
- Due to its size and dimensions you can germinate a lot more seeds with this mat
- It is environmentally safe
- Heavy resistant surface can take a lot of punishment and carry more weight
- Pricier compared to competing brands and mat models
- Not recommended for small apartments with limited space
RIOGOO 9.5"x20.5" Seedling Heat Mat and Thermostat Controller 68-108°F Digital Thermostat Controller IP68 Waterproof
If you’re looking for the complete package, then this RIOGOO heat mat may be the one you’re looking for. The package includes a heating mat and a compatible thermostat controller.
If you’re looking to save money on a single purchase then this might also be a good option. Instead of buying a mat and thermostat separately, you can purchase this combo package and save some money in the process.
Considering the fact that you’re getting two items in one, the extra amount you pay for this product package is already a sweet deal.
Since this mat and thermostat combo has a bit more parts, it may seem a bit more complicated to put together when you get it out of the box, but it really isn’t. The controls on the thermostat controller are easy to understand and it is digital, which makes it easy to use for beginners.
The thermostat also features a probe that allows you to get an accurate reading, which ensures that you are using the right temperature settings for your seeds and sprouts.
- Seedling heat mat + thermostat combo package.
- Easy to setup and use
- Wide temperature range 68° to 108° F
- A bit pricier than average
Providing Your Plants with Optimal Growing Temperatures
A lot of beginners usually think that placing their seed beds and flats near window sill is a great idea. It’s where the sun comes in so most of us think that it’s the spot where plants can get the most sunlight and the best living conditions as well.
However, that might not be a good idea actually. You see that spot by the window can actually turn out to be the coldest areas in your house at other times during the day.
Remember that seeds need a consistent level of warmth to allow them to germinate and grow. And that is where a seedling heat mat might be able to help you.
What Is a Seedling Heat Mat?
Think of a seedling heat mat as some kind of incubator for your seeds. Just like what an incubator would do for eggs, these heat mats provide the ideal warmth to allow your seeds to grow properly.
You place the mat underneath the bed and it will provide the needed bottom heat for your plants. This consistent and controlled temperature supports optimal growing environment so that seedlings and root cuttings become healthy and strong.
How Do Seedling Heat Mats Maintain Growing Temperatures?
The most ideal temperature for most seeds to grow in is anywhere from 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. There are seeds that will require a slightly higher temperature. For instance, winter squash seeds will germinate and grow in soil that has temperatures anywhere in between 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
These are the best growing temperature ranges of the soil for most seeds. In contrast to these temperatures, if the soil temperature goes above 95 degrees or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, then seeds tend not to grow.
A seedling heat mat can help you control the temperature of the soil. You get to maintain the desired temperatures according to the type of seeds that you’re raising.
Take note that these heat mats will generally keep the temperature of the soil around 10 to 20 degrees higher the prevailing air temperature in your room. You won’t need your mats in summer but you should put them to use in the colder months of spring, fall, and winter.
Remember that even if you keep the air temperature in your house warmer than usual, that will not have a significant impact on soil temperature. This is why you still need to use a seedling heat mat to make sure that your seeds will germinate.
What Essential Features Should You Look For?
There are several features that you should be looking for when you’re shopping for a seedling heat mat. We won’t be listing every single feature that manufacturers have designed into their products.
The mat that you will be buying should at least have the following features:
- Waterproofing – your heating mats will be exposed to moisture and if it is not properly waterproofed then don’t expect it to last. This also ensures that you can water your seeds and plants without worrying that your mat will break.
- Proper sizing – heat mats come in a variety of sizes. Some will fit smaller seedling trays and others can fit under large pots. Measure the size of your trays and get the mats that will fit accordingly.
- Thermostat – thermostats allow you to better control the temperature of your seedling heat mat. Sure, you will save probably around $10 on average if you buy a mat that doesn’t have a thermostat. But the benefits and convenience of having one beats buying a cheaper model.
There are other features such as smart controls etc. But getting one that has them is all up to you.
Just remember that when you get heat mats that have these extra features, they will essentially jack up the prices. Weigh the cost versus the potential benefit before you put one in the shopping cart.
How Do You Use a Seedling Heat Mat?
When you purchase any of these mats, they will usually come with instructions. Follow them carefully. Some models will require other steps to get them setup.
Here are the most basic steps when setting up any heat mat for gardening:
- Determine the ideal temperature of your seeds—read the label on the package.
- You should also find out the right light exposure required for germination.
- Choose a spot where you will place your seed trays according to the info you have gathered.
- Place your heat mats in your selected spot first, plug it in the wall, and then set the thermostat (if your mat has one) to the recommended temperature for the seeds that you intend to grow.
- If your seedling mat is programmable, then set the hours when it should turn on. You typically want to keep it on at night until a few hours after sunrise when the temperature goes down. It should be turned off some time around noon when the day is really hot.
- Place an insulating surface on top of the mat so it will not heat the trays or pots too much and cook your seeds. You can use foam or a microfiber sheet if you wish. You can also put a sheet under the heat mat to prevent the mat from burning the table or whatever surface you put it on.
- You should do periodic checks to make sure that the soil temperature is held steadily. Check the soil for adequate moisture as well.
- When the plants germinate, you should remove the trays from off the mats. Move them to a different location to allow them to grow at slower rate. Keeping them on the mat will make the plants grow too fast, which will eventually make them weak.
All the products in this list can be used for different purposes, but only one stood out. The Lesche digging tool and sod cutter is the best among all the products on this list because of its comfortable grip.
Its handle is made of rubber, which makes it easier for you to use the tool even for long hours of gardening. Because our hands are an important asset to us, as gardeners, we should not neglect it and still find ways on how we can take care of them with the tools we use. With Lesche’s comfortable hand grip, you don’t need to worry about calluses and wounds you can get from too much handling of such tools.
Even if it’s one of the most expensive on the list, it’s worth its price as it is also the sturdiest and can work well on any task you need to do in your garden.