Before owning bearded dragons, there are quite a few things you’ll need to prepare. One of the most important is their habitat, which starts with an enclosure. Choosing the right cage is vitally important, which is why we devoted a lot of effort into finding the best options available.
As pet owners and animal lovers in general, it’s important to us that our bearded dragons are comfortable and happy. This means they need ample space, light, heat, ventilation, and more. Plus, we need easy access for cleaning and feeding. And of course, the enclosure needs to be escape-proof! If a cage can’t meet these demands, it’s not a great choice.
To spare you the effort of testing all these bearded dragon tanks yourself, we’ve written up the following six reviews comparing the best ones that we tested. These are all popular enclosures, but in the end, only three of them earned our recommendations.
A Quick Comparison of our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Carolina Custom Cage||
|Best Value||Tetra Glass Kit||
|Premium Choice||REPTI ZOO Large Terrarium||
|Exo Terra Outback||
|REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium||
The 6 Best Bearded Dragon Terrariums
1. Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium – Best Overall
This bearded dragon-specific terrarium is produced by Carolina Custom Cages, a subsidiary of Carlonia Designer Dragons, a breeder of high-quality bearded dragons. Of course, other reptiles would fit in it, but they’re sized to perfectly fit bearded dragons, and who would know better than a breeder? You get multiple dimensions to choose from, depending on the age and size of your dragons and the space you have available.
With dual front doors and a removable screen top, these terrariums give you plenty of wide-open access. The front doors take up almost the entire height of the tank for the full width. The screen top also provides plenty of ventilation for your dragons while allowing your lights to provide heat.
The base of this tank is fully waterproof, so you’ll experience no leaks or messes. To ensure that your reptile companion never escapes, this tank closes with a key lock that will guarantee your dragons stay safe and inside. You’ll be paying a bit more for these premium features, but we think it’s worth the extra cost.
2. Tetra Aquarium Reptile Glass Kit – Best Value
When you’re first getting started with bearded dragons, it can seem like there’s a lot of equipment to acquire and learn about. The Tetra NV33230 Aquarium Reptile Glass Kit aims to simplify the process by including a majority of what you’ll need to get started. It’s not dragon-specific, so you may need to gather a few additional supplies, but this kit will cover most of the basics.
The included 20-gallon tank is the perfect size for baby bearded dragons. Once they get older, you’ll need to upgrade to a larger size. Two dome lamps are in the kit with one heating bulb and one UVB bulb that will allow you to heat and light your dragon’s enclosure. There’s even a basking platform that your lizard will enjoy!
Although the two bulbs included are useful, you’ll still need to add a bulb with UVA for your dragon’s health. But considering the very low price you can purchase this starter kit for, we think it’s the best bearded dragon cage for the money.
3. REPTI ZOO 67-Gallon Large Reptile Terrarium – Premium Choice
It’s certainly not cheap, but if you’re looking for luxurious, spacious, and safe accommodations for your beloved bearded dragons, then we suggest the REPTI ZOO 67-Gallon Large Reptile Terrarium. This well-built and spacious enclosure is made with a hard-tempered glass bottom to ensure its longevity. It’s also packed with well-thought-out features like concealed wire holes on the top and lockable side outlet holes.
To provide unhindered access to the inside, two front doors slide open separately, locking by key when closed to ensure no escape is possible. Window vents on both ends of the terrarium allow for ample ventilation, especially when paired with the breathable mesh top.
67 gallons should be plenty of space for a bearded dragon of almost any size. Only the largest adults would need a larger space. That means you could get this when your dragon is a juvenile and never worry about upgrading its tank again.
4. Exo Terra Outback Terrarium
Featuring a 3D rock background that’s hand-painted to look like the outback, the Exo Terra Outback Terrarium looks like it’s a great bearded dragon habitat, and it is. Its 20-gallon size is perfect for babies, but adults are going to require a lot more space.
For easy access, dual front doors open individually. The stainless steel mesh top cover can be removed for complete access to the tank interior. Besides great access, the screen top allows excellent ventilation, as do the escape-free vents on the front window.
If you have any wires that you need to run, such as for a heating pad or rock, there are closable cable inlets that lock around the cables so your dragons can’t escape. At the bottom of the styrofoam background, there are two slits to run small wires for thermometers and other devices. However, they’re the perfect size and place for your feeder insects to crawl into in their attempt to escape!
5. REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium
At roughly 50 gallons, the REPTI ZOO RK0119 Reptile Glass Terrarium is just big enough to provide the space needed for an adult bearded dragon. If your dragon is on the larger size, then this cage may actually be too small for your needs.
The front has two separately opening doors that allow for ample and easy entry for feeding and spot cleans. Like most similar terrariums, the screen top is completely removable to allow total access when it’s time for a full cleaning.
If you use a substrate heater, the bottom frame is raised for an easy fit. To allow the clean running of wires, closable inlets lock the wires down and keep your pet inside. However, they’re not the most secure, and it’s possible for a strong dragon to make its way out through one if it’s not locked completely. Be sure to check that they’re closed all the way.
Though it does have some nice features, we’d recommend choosing the tank from Carolina Custom Cages in our top spot instead. It’s priced just about the same for more room and a better design overall.
6. Hagen Exo Terra All Glass Terrarium
The Hagen PT2603A1 Exo Terra All Glass Terrarium provides 30 gallons of living space for your bearded dragons, enough for babies and juveniles, but fully-grown adults will require about twice that. Still, this tank packs in some useful features, such as the removable top and double doors that swing open on the front. This provides tons of access to the interior.
Closable inlets allow you to run wires into the tank without worrying that your dragon may escape through the hole. And the sealed, waterproof bottom ensures that any messes stay inside the tank where they’re easier to clean.
This model has a decorative back wall that’s crafted from Styrofoam made to look like natural stone. It provides a nice look, but it’s also a danger. After a few hours of using this tank, we noticed a burning smell. After examination, we realized that our heat lamp was melting the Styrofoam away! Unfortunately, there’s no back panel aside from the Styrofoam wall, so once it melted, this enclosure became useless.
Now that you’ve seen how some of the most popular bearded dragon enclosures compare to each other, you might be prepared to pick one for your pet. But if you’re still unsure of which one is the right one for your dragon, don’t worry. We’ve written this buyer’s guide to help you clarify and ensure you make the right decision.
What to Look for in a Bearded Dragon Cage
If you’ve never purchased a tank for a bearded dragon before, then it can be difficult to choose a good one. This is just because you may not know enough about raising and caring for bearded dragons to know what traits make a particular cage better or worse for dragons.
We’ve raised quite a few of these pets and tested our fair share of terrariums for them. At this point, we have a pretty good grasp on what qualities you want to prioritize when looking for a cage for bearded dragons. Let’s take a look at the most important traits to consider.
Type of Enclosure
When you first start looking at reptile enclosures, you may notice that they come in many different styles. Some have mesh walls and some are made from metal screen. Others are glass tanks that resemble aquariums with screen lids. Of the three main types of reptile enclosures, you want the last one; the glass tank with a screen lid.
A cage that’s made from all screen or wire isn’t going to hold enough heat to keep your dragons comfortable. But a glass tank will trap in a lot of the heat that your lamps produce, which is very important for bearded dragons who need warm environments. Of course, ventilation is also vital, but the screen lid allows for plenty of air.
The next thing you’re likely to notice is that there are many sizes to choose from. A single enclosure might be available in a dozen different sizes, so, which should you choose?
It depends on the size and age of your dragon. Baby dragons will do best in a smaller enclosure that will keep their prey closer, making it easier for them to hunt. For babies, a 20-gallon enclosure is a good choice. They can live in a 40-gallon tank, but it won’t be very comfortable for them and feeding might be difficult.
By the time your dragon reaches adulthood, which should only take about 15-18 months, it’s going to need a much larger enclosure. Tanks between 55 and 75 gallons should be sufficient for most adult bearded dragons.
However, large dragons that are longer than 20 inches may require more space. For them, 75 gallons is a minimum, and a tank over 100 gallons is recommended.
Bearded Dragon Size Chart
|3 Months||8" - 10"|
|6 Months||11" - 18"|
|8 Months||13 - 20"|
|12 Months||15" - 21"+|
Keeping a bearded dragon means performing regular maintenance and caretaking to ensure they remain in excellent health. You’ll be feeding them, handling them, and cleaning their living space regularly. To make all of this much easier, we suggest prioritizing tanks with a lot of access.
Traditionally, most reptile enclosures simply opened from the top by way of a removable lid. Most of these modern enclosures still employ the removable screen lid since it’s a great way to allow fully-open access from the top while providing excellent ventilation when closed.
Today, you can get enclosures that also have an opening front, which is great for feeding and spot cleaning. The biggest advantage is that you won’t have to remove the lights from the top, saving you time and frustration every time you need to get into the tank for something minor.
Of course, easy access is a double-edged sword. If access is too easy, then your dragon may escape! Luckily, manufacturers have considered this conundrum, and solutions have been implemented. One common and effective solution is a key lock. It’s hard to argue with the security of simply locking your dragon inside. But not all tanks have this feature, so you’ll have to seek it out.
How to Set Up a Bearded Dragon’s Cage
Once you have adequate housing for your bearded dragon, it’s time to set up those accommodations. Your dragon won’t be happy in a bare glass tank, so you’ll need to provide some additional things.
Unlike humans, bearded dragons’ bodies don’t automatically regulate their temperature. This means that they have to thermoregulate manually by physically moving to warmer and colder areas. Naturally, this requires warmer and cooler areas to move to, which you must provide.
- Related Read: Best Heat Lamp for Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons have specific temperature needs. You can’t just throw a heat lamp on their cage and hope they’re alright. To ensure you’re giving them two spaces of the proper temperature, you’ll need to put thermometers in your dragon’s cage.
Ideally, you’ll have two thermometers; one for the warm area, and one for the cool area. This will allow you to monitor both so you can be certain that your dragon can regulate its temperature properly.
Like most creatures, bearded dragons need time to sleep. If their sleep cycle is interrupted, it can be detrimental to their health. You’ll need to ensure that lighting is kept on a regular schedule to imitate natural day and night cycles. The easiest way is to set your lights on a timer.
Aside from heating and lighting, you’re going to need to give your dragon more than just a bare glass floor to lay on. First, you’ll need a substrate. Clay and sand are two popular substrates for bearded dragons. Simply cover the floor in a light layer of your chosen substrate. It will help contain messes and keep your dragon comfortable.
Once the substrate is taken care of, consider a basking rock under the heat lamp. Other rocks and even a few plants for decoration would look nice and help your dragon to feel more at home as well.
Bearded dragons might be desert natives, but they still need water! If you forget this vital element, your dragon will shrivel up and die. A large water dish will allow your dragon to hydrate as needed, and even provide a place for them to cool off if they get too hot. Make sure you don’t place the water under the heat lamp where it will get too hot for them to cool off in!
- Related Read: Best Worms for Bearded Dragons
There are many different enclosures on the market that are suitable for bearded dragons. You could even pick one up second-hand at a yard sale if you want. But if you’re like us, you want to provide your pets with the best life possible, which is why we devoted so much time to testing these cages and writing up the corresponding reviews.
In the end, our top pick was the Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium. Built with bearded dragons specifically in mind, it’s packed with features perfect for these lizards. Dual front doors and a removable screen top allow easy access for cleaning and feeding, and the doors lock by key to ensure your pet never escapes.
If you’re just getting started with dragons and looking for the best value, we recommend the Tetra Aquarium Reptile Glass Kit. It includes two dome lamps, a basking platform, and a 20-gallon terrarium; almost everything you need to get started for an affordable price.
But if you want to provide your pet with premium accommodations and don’t mind the higher price, we suggest the REPTI ZOO 67-Gallon Large Reptile Terrarium. It provides plenty of space for adult dragons, ample ventilation, and a key lock.
- Bearded Dragons Essential Supplies List: 8 Things to Get for Your New Pet
- 10 Creative DIY Bearded Dragon Enclosure Ideas (With Pictures)
Featured Image Credit: Gerhard G., Pixabay