Skip to Content

The 6 Best Heating Pads for Seedlings

Starting seeds indoors is a rewarding process that can also be a lot of fun. It’s so satisfying to plant seeds and watch them grow into healthy seedlings.

While starting seeds indoors is exciting, it also comes with some challenges. The right tools make seed starting easier and increase your chances of success.

One of the challenges of indoor seed starting is making sure your soil is warm enough for seeds to germinate. A good heating pad for seedlings helps by warming the soil, ensuring that it’s at the right temperature for germination.

To help you get started, I’ve put together a list of the top heating pads for seedlings in several categories.

A seed starter tray and humidity dome on a heating pad for seedlings.

Our Top Picks

Best Large Mat:
Hoss Germination Mat 150 Watt

Best Small Mat:
Hoss 17 Watt Germination Mat

Best All-In-One Kit:
YOHIA Seed Starting Kit with Heating Pad

Budget Option:
SeedFactor Two Pack Seedling Heat Mat


Considerations When Choosing a Heating Pad for Seedlings

Also called seedling heat mats or germination mats, heating pads for seedlings are a great way to speed up germination and get your garden going. Here are some things to think about when choosing a heating pad.

Size

Heating pads for seedlings come in a variety of sizes, from large to small. Think about how big your seed trays are and how many you’ll be using at a time.

If you have lots of big seed trays you’ll want a big mat or even a few big mats. If you only have one medium or small-sized tray, a small mat will work just fine.

Empty starter trays on a heating pad for seedlings.

Temperature Control

Different seeds thrive at different temperatures. Heating pads with temperature control allow you to adjust the temperature of the heating pad for whatever seeds you’re starting.

Some gardeners like to start seeds at just the right temperature and if that’s you, you’ll want to look for a heating pad with a thermostat.

For many home gardeners, a precise temperature isn’t that important. If so, a thermostat isn’t necessary.

Turning It Off and On

What kind of power control does the heating pad have? Does it include a timer you can set? A switch to turn it off and on?

Some heating pads for seedlings don’t have any sort of switch or power button. You turn them on by plugging in and unplugging them. Since most of the time, you’ll leave the mat on for several days at a time, this may not be an issue.

If you have a hard-to-reach outlet that requires a lot of effort to use, plugging and unplugging a cord every time could be difficult. The simple fix for that problem is to look for a heating pad with a power switch.


Best Large Size Mat

Hoss Germination Mat 150 Watt

Hoss Tools large heat pad for seedlings.

The Hoss Germination Mat 150 Watt is ideal for starting a large garden.

The huge size allows you to start hundreds of seeds at once. The mat measures 21″ by 60″, which is enough space to hold two of these extra-large seed starting trays or eight of the Hoss 24 cell trays.

To start even more seeds you can connect several mats together using the daisy chain feature. This feature works really well when using a rack full of seed starting trays. You can easily connect the mats to one thermostat and control the temperature for all of your seeds at once.

Another great feature of the Hoss mat is the consistent temperature. This mat heats up evenly throughout and maintains a consistent temperature while it’s on. For heat-loving crops like tomatoes and peppers, consistent warmth is important for improving germination rates.

This mat must be used with the Hoss germination thermostat, which is sold separately.

Pros

  • Large size
  • Can connect multiple mats
  • Consistent heating
  • Adjustable temperature control

Cons

  • The thermostat isn’t included and must be purchased separately

Best Small Mat

Hoss 17 Watt Germination Mat

Hoss Tools small heating pad for seedlings.

The Hoss 17 Watt Germination Mat is similar to the Hoss 150-watt mat but in a smaller size. This mat measures 8.875″ by 19.5″, which is the perfect size for a few small seed trays or one of the 24 cell trays.

The material of this mat is tough and sturdy. It can handle a lot of use without wearing down. The mat is waterproof so you don’t have to worry about drips or spills when watering your seedlings.

The consistent temperature is one of the best things about this mat. Once you plug it in, the mat heats up evenly and maintains a steady temperature as long as it’s on.

This mat doesn’t have a power switch so you have to turn it on and off by plugging it in and unplugging it.

Pros

  • Tough, durable construction
  • Consistent heating
  • Good for a smaller garden

Cons

  • No on/off switch
  • You can’t adjust the temperature unless you buy a separate thermostat

Best All-in-One Kit

YOHIA Seed Starting Kit with Heating Pad

YOHIA Seed Starter Tray with Grow Light,40 Cells Seed Starter Kit with Humidity Dome and Heat Mat Seedling Starter Trays,Germination Kit for Seed Growing,Seedling Starting,Cloning & Plant Propagation

If you’re looking for an all-in-one kit, the YOHIA Seed Starting Kit is a great choice.

The kit comes with everything you need to get started, including the heating pad, a base tray, a seed tray, a humidity dome, grow lights, garden markers, and two small tools. All you’ll need is seed starting mix and seeds!

The tray fits perfectly on the heating pad and the lights slide right onto the humidity dome. All the pieces work well together and create an easy seed starting set up.

When it arrives the mat comes rolled up. The thick material makes it a bit hard to unroll. It helps to weigh it down with some heavy objects to get it to lie flat before using it with the seed tray.

Pros

  • The kit comes with everything you need to get started
  • The seed tray fits perfectly on the mat

Cons

  • The mat is hard to unroll
  • It doesn’t include a thermostat

SeedFactor Two Pack Seedling Heat Mat

MET Certified 2 Pack Seedling Heat Mat, Seedfactor Waterproof Durable Germination Station Heat Mat, Warm Hydroponic Heating Pad for Indoor Home Gardening Seed Starter(10" X 20")

This set of two mats from Seedfactor is a great value. You get two quality mats for one low price.

The mats each measure 10″ by 20″, which is the same size as many seed starting trays. One tray fits perfectly on each mat without hanging over the edge.

The mats are waterproof and durable. The smooth finish is easy to wipe clean in case of spills. This comes in handy if you have kids or pets that like to get into things!

The mats both have long power cords that make it easy to reach most outlets. At the end of the season, the mat rolls up for convenient storage.

Pros

  • Comes in a two pack
  • Waterproof
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • No thermostat
  • The heat can be inconsistent

BN-Link Heat Mat and Thermostat

BN-LINK Durable Seedling Heat Mat Heating Pad 10" x 20.75" with Digital Thermostat Controller Combo Set Waterproof for Indoor Seed Starting and Plant Germination

The BN-LINK Heat Mat comes with a thermostat so there’s no need to purchase one separately. The thermostat is easy to set up, just attach the temperature probe, plug it in, and you’re ready to go.

The back of the thermostat has mounting holes giving you an easy way to hang the controller. Hang it on a seed rack, light stand, or on the wall near your work surface for easy access.

The thermostat is easy to adjust with three simple buttons. Two for adjusting the temperature up and down and one to set the temperature. You can set the exact temperature you want for whatever seeds you’re growing, then change it when you plant something else.

The thermostat can be set to show either Fahrenheit or Celsius.

The size of this mat measures 10″ by 20.75″. It fits one standard 10″ by 20″ tray perfectly. The mat is durable and waterproof. An excellent benefit of this product is each purchase comes with a 15-month warranty from BN-LINK.

Pros

  • Includes a thermostat
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • The mat doesn’t always heat to the exact temperature the thermostat is set for, it can be off by a few degrees.

Tools to Use With Heating Pads for Seedlings

Germination Thermostat

A Vivosun germination thermometer

A germination thermostat is used for adjusting the temperature on a heating pad. If you want to set a precise temperature, a thermostat is the way to go.

If your mat doesn’t come with a thermostat you can purchase one separately from places like Hoss tools or Amazon.

Humidity Dome

A humidity dome on a seed starting tray.

Humidity domes are a great way to maintain a warm temperature for your seed starting trays. Cover your seedling trays with a dome while it’s on the heating pad to keep those seedlings nice and warm.

Another benefit of humidity domes is they help keep in moisture so you don’t need to water as often.


Time to Get the Best Heating Pad for Seedlings

Hoss Tools mid-size heating pad for seedlings.

With a good heating pad for seedlings, your seeds will soon grow into strong and healthy plants! For more information on growing healthy seedlings, check out our Seed Starting page on the website.

We’ve put together a ton of resources to answer all of your seed starting questions. From how-to guides to planting guides and everything in between, you’re sure to find some helpful information to get your garden started this year.

Shopping for your garden can get overwhelming, fast. So if you’re looking for advice on garden tools and garden supplies, then you’re in the right place! And if you’re looking for a unique gift for a loved one, how about a gardening gift?