Home Aquariums Large Turtle Basking Platforms

Large Turtle Basking Platforms

by Lucy

Turtle basking platforms, also known as turtle docks, give your turtle the best place to relax and bask in the light and heat. Having a basking platform is essential in making sure that your turtle can keep warm in their tank, and that they absorb optimal UVB light.

You would want to give your turtle the best, and safest, basking platform in their enclosure, to create an environment that is comfortable and suited to them.

So, what is the best large turtle basking platform? The best large turtle basking platform will provide your turtle with enough space to comfortably bask on, and it will be a safe platform for them that isn’t flimsy or dangerous. It needs to also suit the rest of their tank, to create a natural feeling environment.

You do have to put some extra thought and time into purchasing the right turtle basking platform, to ensure that you give your turtle the best and most comfortable enclosure. Below are the best large turtle basking platforms, as well as some advice on how to pick out the right one.

Does My Turtle Need A Basking Platform?

Basking platforms are really important in a turtle’s tank. As turtles are reptiles, they require heat from the sun to warm them up and regulate their temperature. The sun and the light also help them absorb vital nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium.

When kept in captivity, this light and the artificial sun are provided through a heat lamp and a UVB bulb. For the turtle to make the most of this light and heat, they would need somewhere comfortable to bask on. This should be a raised platform out of the water which brings them closer to the light.

A basking platform, raised out of the water, provides the perfect place for them to bask. These ledges are often attached to the side of the tank or are freestanding but offer your turtle the best place to bask, dry off, and absorb much-needed light and heat.

Buyer’s Guide – Large Turtle Basking Platform

Here are the different factors you need to keep in mind when picking out the best large turtle platform to keep in your turtle’s tank.

Type Of Platform

There are various types of basking platforms that you can choose from, all suited to different tanks and environments.

  • Fixed Basking Platform – A fixed basking platform can come in a few different designs, and can either be freestanding or attach to the side of the tank. They are often quite stable, which makes them more suitable for larger turtles.
  • Floating Basking Platform – Floating basking platforms are designed to be attached to the side of the tank wall, and appear to be floating on the water. You do need to be wary of these if you have a larger turtle, as they are not always suitable for heavier or bigger turtles.
  • Tank Topping Basking Platform – There are some basking platforms that are made to sit on the top of the tank. These resemble a box of sorts, with a ramp extending down into the tank where the turtle can climb up. This box above the tank brings your turtle closer to the light.

Size Of The Platform

You really need to consider the size of the platform before making a purchase. You cannot buy a large basking platform that will not fit inside of the tank, or which will take up too much space within the tank and not offer any room for anything else.

The basking spot does not have to take up too much space, and your turtle should be left with more aquatic room than basking space. Also make sure that all of the dry space in the tank is not the platform alone, as your turtle would want some cooler dry areas to hang out in as well.

The basking spot should be at least as wide as your turtle’s shell, so for larger turtles, a larger basking platform is needed.

Easy To Use And Clean

It does really help to choose a basking platform that is easy to install and easy to clean. Many basking platforms will attach to the tank with suction cups, others can be placed on the bottom of the tank, and others hang off the side. Whatever the mounting option, make sure it isn’t too complicated.

The mounting option should also be simple so that you can easily clean the basking platform when needed. It should detach easily and be simple to clean.

Durability And Strength

You would want a basking platform that is durable and strong, and something that is not flimsy and which will not collapse under the weight of your turtle. The basking platform, along with the mounting mechanism and all the fixings, should be strong and stable.

This is especially true for larger turtles, who would obviously weigh more.


Be sure to choose a basking platform that is made from turtle-safe materials, which are non-toxic and which will not let off toxic fumes under heat. There are a variety of turtle basking platform materials used, and all have their pros and cons, but it is most important to ensure that they are safe for your turtle.

The 7 Best Large Turtle Basking Platforms

These are our top picks for the best large turtle basking platforms, to ensure your large turtle has the perfect spot to bask in some much-needed heat and light!

RankProductKey Features
1.Penn-Plax Reptology Life Science Floating Turtle Platform4 supports, strong support, suction cups
2.LaBrinx Designs Wide Hanging Turtle RampDesigned for large turtles, suction cups
3.Tihood Turtle PlatformNatural appearance, sturdy and durable
4.DoubleWood Lawn Turtle Basking PlatformNon-toxic plastic, lightweight, waterproof
5.Penn-Plax Reptology Turtle Topper Clear top for mounting heat lamps
6.Bnyee Turtle DockPlastic mesh for ventilation
7.Sunxenze Large Size Turtle Basking PlatformDurable acrylic plastic, textured for grip

1. Penn-Plax Reptology Life Science Floating Turtle Platform

Check Current Price On Amazon

This Floating Turtle Pier Basking Platform from Penn-Plax is an innovative and unique design that is suitable for large turtles.

The turtle pier doubles as a basking platform and is designed to float just above the waterline in your tank. It gives your turtle the perfect spot to rest outside of the water and lifts them up closer to the light and heat source.

It is a very secure platform that is strong enough to hold a large turtle. The platform rests on 4 pylon supports that attach to the bottom of the tank with suction cups.

Your turtle can easily access the platform by climbing up the ramp and onto the pier. There is a built-in gravel bin in the platform that helps to counterbalance the weight of your turtle as they climb onto the pier.

Not only is this a reliable, easy-to-access basking platform and pier for your large turtle, but it will look great in their tank too!

2. LaBrinx Designs Wide Hanging Turtle Ramp

Check Current Price On Amazon

This clear acrylic ramp from LaBrinx has been designed to be wider than normal, to accommodate for larger turtles who need more space when basking.

The ramp can be mounted to the tank using either suction cups, or it can be hung over the edges of the tank. These two mounting options mean you can hang the platform in the best spot in the tank.

With a 10-inch wide and 10-inch deep space, as well as being 14-inches long, your turtle will have ample space to move around and bask, and will find it so easy to move up the ramp when getting out of the water.

The ramp creates multiple levels in the tank and makes the most out of the limited space.

The easy-grip surface means that your large turtle will have no trouble getting out the water and climbing atop the basking platform, and they will enjoy the wide space that it has to offer.

3. Tihood Turtle Platform

Check Current Price On Amazon

This turtle platform has been created to be easy for turtles to climb on, for them to enjoy the light and heat and relax out of the water.

Not only does it offer a good basking platform, but it gives you a better turtle-viewing platform, so you can interact with your turtle more!

It is also so wonderfully easy to install, you simply have to clean the platform and then place it into the tank where is best suited.

The natural rock appearance of the platform means it will create a more natural-like environment for your turtle, and it will enhance the appearance of the tank as well. Being made from a hard material, it is also very sturdy and strong and will hold up to the weight of your turtle well.

4. DoubleWood Lawn Turtle Basking Platform

Check Current Price On Amazon

Made with non-toxic PP plastic, this turtle ramp and platform are completely safe for turtles to use. It is also lightweight and waterproof, but it is strong enough to hold a large turtle and all its weight.

There are double suction cups that offer non-slide support when the basking platform is in the tank. The ramp will not slip or slide and move as your turtle climbs up on it and settles in to bask in the warmth.

To feel more natural, the top of the turtle platform is covered with artificial green turf, which also provides them with enough friction to move smoothly up the ramp without slipping.

The large ramp measures 7.8″ x 4.68″ x 1.95″, which is a good size for larger turtles and larger tanks.

5. Penn-Plax Reptology Turtle Topper 

Check Current Price On Amazon

This turtle topper is different from most other basking platforms, as it is fitted onto the top of the turtle tank, expanding it upwards and giving your turtle a higher platform to bask on.

The platform safely mounts above the tank, giving your turtle a great spot to dry off and get warm. The extra space gives a healthier and roomier aquatic environment for your turtle and allows more space for them to swim and enjoy the water.

A textured docking ramp allows your turtle to easily climb up to reach the platform, where they can rest along the top of the water. The docking ramp measures 5.75″ at the narrowest point, and is 8″ long.

Your turtle can enjoy the best of both worlds, by hanging out on the hanging platform, which allows them to be partially submerged in water, or by being fully dry and sitting out on the top.

The clear top and ridges give you space to mount 2 clamp-style heat lamps, and the metal grill door allows heat to pass through and gives you easy access to your turtle as well.

6. Bnyee Turtle Dock

Check Current Price On Amazon

This turtle platform is made from stainless steel, which is long-lasting and which will never rust. The stainless steel is covered with a food-grade plastic mesh, which allows for good ventilation and for anti-skid grip for your turtle.

The plastic mesh also prevents the dock from becoming too hot for your turtle and provides them with just the right amount of heat.

The turtle basking platform can be attached using two hooks, and the strong carrying capacity can accommodate for a turtle weighing up to 5kg.

The height of the dock can also be adjusted to suit the water level, making it versatile in the tank.

A steeped design allows your turtle to climb up onto the tank easily, and the wide, flat top surface gives a good basking area to soak up heat and light.

It is a simple yet durable basking platform that gives your turtle everything they need to climb up and bask on, without taking up too much room in the tank, but still being big enough for large turtles!

7. Sunxenze Large Size Turtle Basking Platform

Check Current Price On Amazon

Made from high-quality durable acrylic plastic, this turtle basking platform is clear and will suit just about any tank.

The platform attaches to the tank using two suction cups, which have a strong suction power that holds on tight, even when a larger turtle is sitting on the platform.

The unique design of this basking platform sees a self-contained feeding area built-in, making it perfect for your turtle to bask and feed at the same time. There is also a tunnel area that increases exercise and play for your turtle too.

A terraced slope is convenient for turtles to climb up on, with a texture that makes climbing easy. The ramp allows them to either be partially submerged in water, or they can climb up a little further and be fully dry and warm.

Final Thoughts

Every turtle tank needs a good basking platform, for your turtle to sit and relax, basking in the light and heat provided by the lamps. 

You do need to be extra careful when purchasing a basking platform for a large turtle, as it needs to be big enough and strong enough to accommodate their weight and size, but it also should not take too much space in the tank and restrict the aquatic space.

Above are 7 great large turtle basking platforms that your turtle will love and use often, and which you will be able to install easily and clean easily, and help to create the perfect habitat for your reptile friend!

Why is my turtle basking so often?

If you think that your turtle is basking too often, it could be a sign that something is wrong. The water temperature might not be right, or they could even have an infection. There might also be a problem with the water quality, and in some cases, your turtle might be pregnant!

Do turtles sleep when they bask?

Turtles will sleep where they feel comfortable, and this could be on their basking platform, at the surface of the water, or even at the bottom of the tank.

Up Next: Can Frogs And Turtles Live Together?

You may also like

Leave a Comment