With the huge number of heaters available for aquariums, it is often difficult to distinguish the better heaters from the herd. Fancy packaging or a gimmicky design does not always translate to a better product.

Fortunately for the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater, the departure from standard heater design is not gimmicky at all—and its great features make it one of the best heaters you can buy.

Out of the box, the first thing you notice is how thin and sleek this heater is. At about 0.8” thick, this heater is one of the thinnest and best-looking heaters on the market. The slim design makes installation easier and makes the heater less visually and physically obtrusive.

While most heaters utilize delicate glass outer casings, the heating element of the Neo-Therm is encased in a shatter-proof casing that is just about indestructible. This definitely gives hobbyists one less issue to worry about.

The outer casing also has a built-in LED display that ingeniously shows both the set temperature as well as the aquarium temperature. A solid LED light indicates the aquarium temperature is the same as the set temperature. A slow blinking LED indicates the aquarium temperature is lower than the set temperature. A fast blinking LED indicates the aquarium temperature is higher than the set temperature. A single button at the top of the heater allows you easily adjust the set temperature.

While most heaters rely on a mechanical bi-metal thermostats and have an accuracy of ± 1 to 2 degrees, Neo-Therm heaters use an advanced electronic thermostat that has an impressive accuracy of just ±0.5 degrees.

A more constant water temperature creates a stable environment and reduces stress for your fish and corals. Additional safety feature includes a thermal protection circuitry that will shut down the heater before it overheats.

Even with all of these great features, Cobalt Aquatics is able to keep the prices of these heaters very reasonable. With prices ranging from about $50-$80, they are more expensive than most glass/mechanically-controlled heaters but are much cheaper than many digitally-controlled titanium heaters. A long 3-year manufacturer warranty also helps protect your investment.

These heaters offer great features, accuracy and reliability. That's why they earned ‘Best Aquarium Heater’ honors in our Best of 2013 Awards.

If you are looking for a ‘better’ heater, here it is!