Bearded dragons can be fantastic pets, but only if you are willing to properly care for them. Healthy dragons can live for up to 10 years! Even though this is true if they are kept in optimal conditions, many bearded dragon owners do not adequately care for their pets.
The very first thing you will need when you bring a new beardie home is a nice bearded dragon terrarium with all the necessary tools installed in it.
They need the proper enclosure to ensure they’re not only happy but healthy too!
Bearded dragons normally make their home in the deserts and forests of Australia. They come from a naturally hot and dry climate, with lots of sun. You want to duplicate their natural environment as much as possible.
Some owners mistakenly think they can let their bearded dragon run about their house, in their garden, or just outdoors.
Letting your beardie run about the house would be somewhat akin to putting a penguin in a tropical rain forest. It just is not done. You could be exposing your beloved beardie to unexpected danger.
Note: You must invest in a proper bearded dragon enclosure. Proper cages can make the difference between life and death.
In this article, we give our review on the six best bearded dragon terrariums. The reviews are based on our personal use of the terrariums and customers’ feedbacks on their official websites. We have tried to cover everything from build quality to what we like about each cage.
After reading this guide you will be able to pick the best terrarium for your bearded dragon.
Both you and your beardie will love this cage! It’s the perfect size for adult bearded dragons. The bamboo-finished wood panels not only look awesome but also retain heat better than glass.
Table of Contents
Best Bearded Dragon Terrariums
|Editor’s Picks||Tanks||Our Rating|
|Best Overall||Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures||5|
|The strongest||Essential 4 PVC & Aluminum Enclosure||5|
|Best for Beginners||Carolina Cages Extra-Long 120-Gallon||4.8|
|Also our favorite||REPTI ZOO 85-Gallon Glass Reptile Terrarium||4.7|
|Most Affordable||Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium||4.2|
Best Overall Tank: Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures
Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures is simply the best enclosure for bearded dragons. Designed by Zen Habitats, Inc. a US-based company that specializes in creating beautiful-looking cages for reptiles.
One of the things why we love this cage so much is because it is designed to not only support the physical but also the emotional needs of your pets.
Made of high-quality material, this 120-gallon cage has plenty of room for your beardie to run, jump, and climb.
As this is a huge terrarium, you can easily add branches, hammocks, and other decor items to make a great bearded dragon habitat.
The steel screen top comes with screen support bars and wire grommets, allowing you to install your lighting fixtures and heat lamp within or outside the enclosure.
The front sliding doors make it easy to clean as well as minimize the stress when approaching your beardie.
The one issue we had with their previous models was that the sliding doors were a bit loose and oftentimes crickets would escape through it. But in the newer models, they have fixed it by adding an aluminum wrap that keeps the doors tighter.
The bamboo finished panels not only look beautiful but also help in maintaining humidity levels. Bamboos are better than glass at retaining heat and minimizing reflection. Most adult bearded dragons are territorial and don’t like their reflection.
Aluminum framing, bamboo-lined panels, galvanized steel screen top, and acrylic front-sliding doors make zen habitats reptile enclosures one of the best tanks for bearded dragons.
- Featured as our editor’s pick for the best bearded dragon terrarium
- Perfect size for an adult bearded dragon
- Front sliding acrylic doors for easy access
- 3 year warranty
- Free shipping
- Non-reflective surfaces
- Not suitable for UTH (Under Tank Heating)
- One side view
The Strongest Cage: Essential 4 PVC & Aluminum Enclosure
If you are looking for something stronger that will last for decades then the Maximum Reptile Essential 4 PVC & Aluminum Enclosure is the best fit for you. Made from real PVC panels that not only hold humidity better but also never breaks, rot or catch fire.
Although Maximum Reptile is relatively new in the reptile business, its creator, Paul Barclay, is not. He has been designing and building reptile enclosures for over 44 years, with experience in creating setups for personal use as well as commercial displays.
The Maximum Reptile Essential 4 Enclosure measures 48”x24”x24” which means 7.51 sq feet of floor space for your beardie.
It comes with a 5” substrate shield which is thick enough to support live plants if you are planning to use any. It also features a built-in Humidity Control Panel so you won’t need to buy any additional thermometer or hygrometers.
The partial or full aluminum screen top allows for better ventilation and UVB penetration. It allows about 77% UVB transmission through the mesh which is significantly better than the 50-60% we see with some other popular enclosures with finer mesh.
I love how the doors slide into the frame on the sides, rather than just stopping in the middle. Despite this, the glass doors are still VERY easy to remove for cleaning or cage maintenance.
- Better UVB transmission through mesh (77%)
- Includes a digital thermometer and hygrometer with probe
- Non-reflective PVC walls
- Highly water-resistant and perfect for use with high humidity species
- 10 year warranty available
- Requires tools to put together.
- Not very forgiving of mistakes made during assembly.
Best for Beginners: Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium
This is a great bearded dragon cage. It is one of the most popular glass enclosures in the bearded dragon’s community and it’s one of our favorites too. This cage is made of high-quality sturdy material that will last for a long time.
It’s available in 18 different sizes. Every model of the terrarium features a waterproof base and key-lock security to keep your pet safe.
Carolina Custom terrariums come in equal size plates of glass and screws together easily at the corners. The base is one part as it has the top with larger doors that make cleaning and arranging easier.
The terrarium also features a heavy-duty screen lid that will give plenty of fresh air to your bearded dragon.
Every bearded dragon owner loves the large doors, which makes cleaning and arranging easy. The cage is shipped in parts, but the assembly is fairly easy.
- Large 120-gallon tank perfect size for adult bearded dragons.
- Strong mesh top on either half of the cage.
- 360° view glass.
- With an under-tank heater, thin glass may become too hot.
- Once installed, the mesh top is difficult to remove.
Also our favorite: REPTI ZOO 85-Gallon Glass Reptile Terrarium
On the list of best bearded dragon tanks, we have REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium. This is a great option if you prefer a glass tank. It offers plenty of room for your beardie in all directions for a natural setup, without being too big.
Repti zoo is a stylish bearded dragon terrarium made of high quality and sturdy material. This terrarium measures 48″ x 18″x 24″, which is about 120 gallons.
This cage features a large sturdy screen lid that provides good air circulation. Since it has plenty of interior space, you can add branches, hammocks, and other stuff to make it an ideal habitat for your bearded dragon.
It comes with several ergonomic installation features for heaters, thermometers, and lights. The tank is shipped disassembled but has a very easy and straightforward setup process.
- Ample space
- Handy cable portal for lighting and heating equipment.
- High-quality and durable design with closable gaps for wires.
- Well-ventilated and allow for better UVB penetration.
- Glass panes may chip during the installation process.
- Due to the additional mesh, it is more difficult to manage tank temperatures in cooler spaces.
Most Affordable: Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium
The next cage on our list of top bearded dragon enclosures is Exo Terra All Glass Terrarium. This is a beautifully designed very good quality cage for reptiles with a more “natural” feel.
With a realistic sandy backdrop, your bearded dragon will feel right at home. The large swinging doors make the cleaning a lot easy.
This bearded dragon cage is available in 7 different sizes but make sure you get the “Large wide” one as opposed to the “large tall” one for your bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons spend most of their time on the ground than climbing so, the “Large wide” model with a bigger floor area is the most suited terrarium for them.
Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium is shipped fully assembled, meaning you don’t have to worry about assembling and fixing different pieces together. As they ship a fully assembled terrarium, it sometimes gets cracked in the transportation so be sure to check for any defects before putting your dragon inside.
- Great ventilation system in the sides
- Durable screen top made of metal that can support a heat light
- Natural looking background
- Does not hold humidity well
- Background is made out of Styrofoam
- Can be hard to find a substrate to fit these dimensions
- Extreamly heavy
Carolina Cages 65-Gallon Long Terrarium
The Carolina Cages 65-Gallon Long Terrarium is a high-quality glass tank that is ideal for a juvenile or subadult. This bearded dragon terrarium is slightly smaller for fully grown dragons but is perfect for juvenile and sub-adult dragons.
It comes with a lockable mesh top that has built-in gaps to accommodate wiring.
The 48″x18″ lockable top has plenty of room for lighting and heaters and is strong enough to deal with severe heat.
The substrate in this tank is particularly handy for bearded dragon owners who prefer disposable substrates (e.g. wood chips or alfalfa pellets). Also, it’s deep enough for your beardie to dig.
The build of this bearded dragon terrarium is quite sturdy, with no loose components. In addition to the tracks keeping the doors firmly in place, they don’t tremble or vibrate with passing footsteps. However, we recommend reinforcing the top brace if you plan to place any heavy heaters or lights on the top.
Assembling takes a bit longer because the instructions are pictured-based and take some figuring out.
- Practical design and solid build
- Long-lasting lockable mesh top
- Deep base ideal for diging
- Too small for a fully-grown bearded dragon.
- The top will need reinforcing if you plan to use heavy heaters.
Once you buy a cage for your bearded dragon, it’s time to decorate it with the right tools and equipment. Read our post on how an ideal bearded dragon habitat looks like.
What to Look for in a Bearded Dragon Tank?
Based on the age of your bearded dragon, what type of setup you want, and how much money you want to spend, there are a number of different terrariums available. Most of the terrariums available in the market for bearded dragons are more or less the same.
Pro Tip: The size and design of the tank are the most important things to look for as it affects the safety and durability of the tank.
Despite the differences, good bearded dragons terrariums have several things in common:
- Size (120-gallon).
- Design (Material, good ventilation).
- Security (front opening doors with key lock security).
- Safety (sturdy with well-fitted screen top).
As we mentioned earlier, size and design are the most important things to consider when picking a bearded dragon terrarium. The recommended cage size for an adult bearded dragon is 120 gallons. Terrariums that are bigger than this are not recommended because they are hard to clean and heat.
Below are the recommended cage sizes for bearded dragons in different stages of their lives.
Bearded Dragon Cage Size
It’s extremely important to provide your pet bearded dragon with a cage that has enough room for them to run about and exercise.
Pro Tip: Always remember, the bigger the cage the better.
For a baby dragon, you will need at least a 20 gallon tank which is about 30x13x12 inches. However, we recommended getting a 40 gallon (48x12x14) as you will need a bigger tank anyway when your beardie reaches 3 to 4 months of age.
For juveniles that are 3 to 5 months old, a minimum of 40 gallon tank is needed. But the ideal sized tank is 55 to 75-gallon which offers enough room for your dragon to live a healthy life.
Full-grown lizard, typically 15 to 18 months old, needs a larger terrarium/tank. They do best in a 100 to 120 gallons tank.
A lot of people in the bearded dragon community especially on the internet recommend a smaller cage size like 55-gallon or 75 gallons for full-grown dragons. You can still get away with a 55-gallon but I honestly believe it’s way too small for a full-grown bearded dragon.
If you still want to go with a smaller terrarium, don’t go anywhere below a 100-gallon.
Bearded dragons are not very good climbers. They spend most of their time on the ground under the sun or climbing onto low branches. That is why a horizontal terrarium is preferred to a vertical one.
Note: Instead of focusing on the headroom for your beardie, focus more on the floor.
Ventilation is also an important aspect of design. The enclosure must allow for proper air circulation. Two main factors are the height and the material used to create the enclosure.
The best way to achieve ventilation is through the screen mesh tops as they still allow heat and light in.
Some materials are better than others at retaining heat and humidity. If the enclosure loses warmth quickly, heating costs will increase as it will need to be compensated for.
The enclosure should be secure enough that your bearded dragon cannot escape and other critters cannot get in. It should have key lock security or cover clips. These are especially important if your tank is opening from the top.
Bearded dragons are curious creatures and can accidentally push open the doors of an enclosure while exploring. So, make sure the cage is escape proof.
The enclosure should be made from sturdy and high-quality durable material. A well-made tank should last the lifespan of a bearded dragon without the need for replacement.
Pro Tip: Bearded dragons don’t like to see changes in their environment. They feel more secure and comfortable if kept in the same terrarium their whole life.
In bearded dragon enclosures, front opening doors are preferred over the top opening. Approaching your beardie from above will cause stress as they will perceive you as a threat. (Predators mostly come from above).
Front opening doors also provide easy access to the terrarium that helps to make cleaning and maintenance easy. Top opening terrariums are hard to access especially with lighting and heating bulbs in the way.
Other Important things to look for in bearded dragon terrarium
- Bearded dragon tanks must be easy to clean properly including the ability to kill any unwanted additions such as viruses, fungi, helminths, and bacteria.
- Needs to be able to house at least basic furniture without cluttering the ground excessively.
- Must be able to ensure that your pet can never come in contact with heat lamps. They can and do get burnt.
- The enclosure should not emit any toxic fumes from the materials used to create it especially when heating is applied. This could be fatal for your dragon’s health.
- The enclosure should not be capable of melting or warping from the exposure to heat, in particular around the heat lamp.
- If the enclosure will be outside (even if only part of the year) then it must be given both sun and shade to allow for movement between the two as required by the inhabitant and protected from cold drafts, rain, and excessive heat.
- It must be high enough to allow to accommodate the bearded dragon’s arboreal activities. 20 inch is enough verticle space.
Common Bearded Dragon Enclosure Issues
When buying bearded dragon terrariums, the most common mistake beginner pet owners make is choosing a very small enclosure.
Smaller terrariums are usually more affordable and may seem like a better size for a baby bearded dragons. But don’t be tempted! Bearded dragons grow very quickly will easily outgrow a smaller cage. So, it’s wise to get a larger cage from the beginning.
Bearded dragons do best in larger enclosures. An adult bearded dragon should be housed in 120-gallon tank.
Glass tanks are the most popular among the bearded dragon community. But sometimes the glass tank is reflective and your beardie may catch its own reflection.
One of the most common mistakes new bearded dragon owners make is getting an enclosure that is not built specifically for reptiles. Non-purpose tanks often don’t have secure tops to install heating and lighting equipment.
Avoid the All in One Kits
All in one or ready-made bearded dragon’s kit come with necessary décor, lighting, and heating equipment.
These kits may sound like a great deal but as per our experience, these usually tend to be of low quality. So, avoid them at all costs. Instead, you should invest in a stand-alone enclosure and then decorate with the necessary equipment.
Bearded Dragon Habitat: FAQs
Bearded dragons are odor-free pets however if you don’t clean their cage on regular basis it can produce some highly objectional odors. The cause for the bad smell in the bearded dragon tank is usually the organic debris and bacteria. But you will be fine as long as you properly and regularly clean their enclosure.
You should remove any feces or uneaten food on daily basis. Clean hard surfaces every week. Also, do a full-habitat deep cleaning at least once every month.
To make the enclosure warmer you will need to install heat bulbs in it. There are many types of purpose-made heat bulbs available for bearded dragons that you can get for a few dollars. Read more about bearded dragon heat and lighting.
The temperature inside an adult bearded dragon’s tank should be between 100° – 105° degrees Fahrenheit but baby dragons need around 110° degrees fahrenheit. You need to have two sides inside your tank i.e. a cooler side and a warmer side so your pet can easily move to one or the other if needed. Read more about bearded dragon heat and lighting.
Baby dragons need to be housed in a 20 gallon tank. For juveniles that are 3 to 5 months old, you will need a 40-gallon tank. Full-grown bearded dragons should be housed in a 120-gallon tank. Some owners choose to use 55 or 75-gallon terrariums for adult dragons which we think is very small for a fully grown dragon.
Best bearded dragon terrariums are the ones that are sturdy, large, secure, and safe. The finer details about décor, style, and brand are all personal preferences.
Best tanks are large enough and provide good ventilation. They also retain heat better.
The most important aspects to consider when buying the best bearded dragon cage are Size, Safety, and Design. But you should also look for durability, material, hood fixing, and door styles.