Best turtle topper & turtle basking platform

Best turtle topper & turtle basking platform

Are you planning to buy a turtle pet and you’ve read enough about these reptiles to know that they need something to climb on in order to stay healthy and happy? You are right. Except for providing them a safe and healthy living environment filled with water and plants, you should also consider the fact that they need to dry from time to time and they like to climb on a surface that offers them the chance to do that. If you acknowledge that, you probably understand that a turtle basking area is absolutely necessary.

Choosing the right platform for your turtle

  • The topper

Toppers are a kind of turtle basking platforms. Turtles of all sizes love these kinds of platforms because they like to walk, climb and dry on sunny surfaces. When choosing a turtle topper for your reptile you must consider the size of the tank, as well as the size of an adult turtle. It might be suitable for your pet in the first few months, but if it is too small, it will become useless in the near future. The fact that the turtle tank topper is attached to the aquarium is extremely practical, as you can remove it easily in order to maintain and clean it and you can do the same for the tank, separately.

A turtle tank top is great for larger reptiles that need a lot of light and dry surfaces. Most toppers on the market are creatively designed, using natural colors that imitate the turtle’s natural environment. They are equipped with ramps that allow the turtle to climb easily whenever it desires, without being dependent on its owner. More than that, an above tank basking area does not allow your pet to escape like other platform types. Owning a topper is both practical, comfortable and it is good for the turtle’s well-being.

  • The floating platform

Instead of turtle tank toppers, some owners prefer to go for floating platforms that have a simpler design, are easier to setup, yet are not as practical as tank toppers. Floating platforms, unlike turtle toppers, are suitable for very small reptiles, such as baby turtles. The reason why turtle owners should be careful about this aspect is that a larger pet is heavier and will sink the floating platform, which is usually made of light materials and sinks easily.

Small turtles adore floating platforms, as they can dry in natural light and practically, walk on water. However, once they start growing, such a platform is not suitable for them anymore. Sometimes, they even start eating the material, which can be harmful to them. Therefore, if you are a turtle owner and you want to buy a floating platform, think about the size of your pets first.

  • The dock

Just like floating platforms, docks are made for small and very small turtles. They usually have a nice, raw design that makes turtles feel comfortable, as it imitates their natural environment. They aren’t very large, nor practical, but they seem like a good idea as a first platform. It will allow small turtles to rest and dry. As docks that you can find in most pet stores are not that practical, many turtle users choose to do build them themselves.

By building a dock platform yourself, you get to choose the size, the materials, the shape and the amount of space that it will occupy, depending on the tank size. Also, you will be able to choose how sturdy it will be, depending on the size and weight of the turtle that you own.

  • The outdoor basking platform

If you are one of those turtle owners who care about every minute of a turtle’s day, you will surely think about having an outdoor basking platform. This is a very good idea, as you will be offering your turtle variety and the chance to explore a new environment, separate from its tank. It will be able to dry in the sun, explore new territories and enjoy the view. The good thing about having an outdoor platform is that you can place it wherever you want, without having to move the tank. The bad thing about it is that it does not offer the turtle the possibility to get wet should it feel the need to.

Anyway, you can improvise by creating a small, wet spot or by adding a sprinkler or a mister on the platform. Most outdoor basking platforms are made of smooth, stable stones that give the turtle the possibility to climb, include driftwood pieces, as well as flat surfaces. This is a practical option that your turtle will simply love. However, having one of these doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a small platform inside the tank, too, as turtles must have the option of getting outside of the water whenever they feel the need to.


Choosing the best turtle topper and turtle basking platform

With so many options, it can be difficult to make a decision. The market is filled with various basking platforms that are specially designed to make the life of turtles more comfortable. If you are a creative, handy person, it is a good idea to build one yourself. If not, you will just have to settle with one of the market’s options. If you are thinking about the most practical turtle tank platform, you probably think that a topper is the best idea. If so, you are right. Such a product encompasses everything that a turtle needs. Also, it is easy to clean and detach whenever needed.

In order to help you make a decision, we have reviewed 5 of the best-selling turtle toppers that the market has to offer, by analyzing their pros and cons, as well as by highlighting the most important features. Check out the 5 products below and choose the one that best suits your needs.


  1. Penn Plax Reptology Life Science Turtle-Topper Above-Tank Basking Platform

This is one of the top rated turtle toppers on the market that offers owners and turtles everything that they need in order to be comfortable. It fits most rectangular tanks that are up to 55 gallons or 12 inches wide. However, it is a good idea to measure your tank before actually buying the topper. With this turtle topper, there is no filter restriction or weight restriction. This means that this product does not sink, regardless of the weight of your turtle.

With this topper, you can use whichever filter type you want, as it is compatible with all power filters and hang on ones. Also, you can install all type of light or heat fixtures, depending on your turtle’s needs. This product has a gorgeous design and comes at a great price, which is why it is recommended for you if you are looking for a high-quality product that offers value for money.


  • It is nicely designed
  • It is top rated by users
  • It is made of sturdy materials
  • It must be installed on top of the tank
  • It is easy to clean
  • It is easy to maintain
  • It is compatible with all filter types
  • It has a good price


  • It is not suitable for large tanks


  1. Penn Plax Reptology Life Science Turtle-Topper Above-Tank Basking Platform

This turtle topper is one of the turtle owners’ favorites due to the nice design in natural green, the ease of installment and maintenance, the fact that it has no filter restrictions and that it offers pets everything that they need in order to feel safe and comfortable. When placing this platform on top of the tank, you don’t have to worry about the filter, lighting system or heating fixture that you will set up. The fact that there are no compatibility requirements is a big plus.

This product is designed to fit small tanks of up to 20 gallons. Its base measures 17 x 14 x 10 inches, which is just enough space for a small to medium turtle that is active and likes to sit for long hours on a dry surface. It is made of sturdy plastic, it does not smell and it is easy to clean and maintain. It weighs no more than 5.8 pounds, yet it does not sink, regardless of the turtle’s weight. It comes with an easy to open grill that allows your pet to sink when desired.


  • It is nicely designed
  • It has a great price
  • It is roomy
  • It has a grill that is easy to open
  • It is made of strong materials
  • It is easy to clean
  • It is suitable for small to medium tanks
  • It is one of the best options for turtles


  • It is not suitable for larger tanks


  1. Reptology Life Science Turtle-pier by Penn-Plax

Unlike the first two products on our list, this is a turtle platform that can be placed inside of the tank and floats just like a normal dock. It can be bought at an incredible price and it is the best option for you if you are on a budget. This product floats above the water line, allowing your turtle to rest and dry whenever it wants. It is suitable for small to medium turtles, yet it sinks a bit too deep if larger turtles climb on it.

The good thing about this platform is that it rests on 4 pylons that ensure that it doesn’t go too deep, regardless of the weight of the turtle. The pylons are adjustable, so you can set them as high or low as you want, depending on the depth of the water. This product’s design makes it very easy for the turtle to climb on it, as it also includes a ramp. This platform is suitable not only for tanks but also for terrariums and other reptile cages. If you decide to use it in a tank, you should know that it is suitable for a capacity of up to 20 gallons.


  • It is incredibly cheap
  • It can be used in terrariums and aquariums
  • It is easy to climb on
  • It comes with a ramp
  • It has adjustable pylons
  • It is made of sturdy plastic
  • It is suitable for small to medium turtles


  • It is not suitable for large turtles or aquariums


  1. Kaytee My First Home Tank Topper

This is a turtle tank topper that is practical and easy to attach to any tank. It comes with a ramp and two platforms that allow your pet to dry and rest, as well as to climb whenever it feels the need to. This product is suitable for tanks that are as small as 10 gallons and includes a food dish, a water bottle, and a house hideout. Its parts are made of coated wire and stain resistant plastic.

This product measures 20 x 10 x 10 inches and it is suitable not only for turtles but also for gerbils, mice or other reptiles. The bar spacing measures half an inch, so you have to make sure that your pet cannot escape if it is really small as a baby. This product’s disadvantage is that its design is not as creative as other similar products’ and it doesn’t offer the turtle an environment that imitates its natural one. However, it is a good option if you like to keep things simple.


  • It has a simple design
  • It has a good price
  • It includes a water bottle and a food dish
  • It is suitable for small tanks
  • It is suitable for various pets
  • It is made of resistant materials
  • It only weighs 4.6 pounds


  • Its design is not visually pleasant
  • It is only suitable for small tanks or cages


  1. Terrace Pier Resting Platform Reptile Turtles Basking Tank Topper Reptology Dock Above Floating Aquarium Decoration by D&B Pet Supplies

This is a simple platform that is suitable for turtles and other reptiles. It is easy to install and it doesn’t take any complicated scheme to set it up. It comes in white, it is made of acrylic plastic, it is durable and can be attached to the tank by simply using some suction cups. The great thing about this inexpensive product is that it is suitable for tanks of all shapes rectangular, triangular, round etc.

However, this turtle platform isn’t suitable for reptiles that are large and heavy, as it sinks easily or its suction cups could even detach. Despite its amazing price, one of its disadvantages is that its design is way too simple and does not offer the turtle any entertainment options, such as stairs to climb. It does come with a ramp, however, which is also something.


  • It is very cheap
  • It is simply designed
  • It is easy to attach to any tank
  • It is suitable for any tank shape
  • It is durable
  • It has a ramp
  • It is white and goes with any tank design


  • Its design is a bit too boring

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