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 owners do not adequately care for their pets.
The first thing you will need when you bring a new beardie home is a nice terrarium with all the necessary tools.
They need the proper enclosure to ensure they are 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 beardies run about their house, in their garden, or outdoors. Letting your beardie run about the house would be somewhat akin to putting a penguin in a tropical rainforest. 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 of the six best bearded dragon terrariums. The reviews are based on our personal use of the terrariums and customers’ feedback 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 enclosure for your bearded dragon.
Zen Habitat is one of the best bearded dragon cages. Both you and your beardie will love it! Its the perfect size for adult dragons. The bamboo-finished wood panels look awesome and retain heat better than glass.
A Quick Comparison of the Best Bearded Dragon Enclosures in 2022
Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures
Essential 4 PVC & Aluminum Enclosure
Best for Beginners
Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium
Also our Favorite
REPTI ZOO Glass Reptile Terrarium
Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium
Carolina Cages 67-Gallon Long Terrarium
The 6 Best Enclosures for Bearded Dragons
1. Best Overall: Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures
Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures is our top pick for bearded dragons. Your beardie will love the size of this enclosure. Designed by Zen Habitats, Inc., a US-based business that specializes in building practical and attractive reptile cages.
We like this cage because it not only supports our pet’s physical but also their emotional needs.
Made of high-quality material, this 120-gallon cage has plenty of room for your beardie to run, jump, and exercise.
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 lamps within or outside the enclosure.
One of the noticeable features of this enclosure is its sliding doors. The doors weigh on rounded surfaces, producing little friction, which makes them easy to open and close. It’s also easy to take them off for cleaning. However, they tend to rattle when someone walks by.
Moreover, the sliding doors also minimize stress when approaching your beardie. Approaching your beardie from above can stress them as they will perceive you as a predator.
The one issue we had with their previous models was that the sliding doors were loose, and often crickets would escape through them. Newer models fix it by adding an aluminum wrap to keep the doors tight.
The bamboo-finished panels not only look beautiful but also help in maintaining proper humidity levels. Bamboos are better at retaining heat and minimizing reflection than glass. Most adult dragons are territorial and don’t like their own reflections.
The 6″ substrate shield is perhaps my favorite feature of this enclosure. Most front-opening enclosures in the market don’t let you use more than a couple of inches of a substrate before they overflow. Deep substrate is necessary for maintaining humidity and promoting natural burrowing/digging behaviors in reptiles. However, it sometimes causes problems by obstructing sliding door tracks and generating a squealing grinding noise. With Zen Habitats substrate shields, you can have a nice deep substrate layer and protect your doors at the same time.
Aluminum framing, bamboo-lined panels, galvanized steel screen top, and acrylic front-sliding doors make Zen Habitats one of the best tanks for bearded dragons.
- Featured as our editor’s pick for the best enclosure for bearded dragon
- Perfect size for an adult bearded dragon
- Front sliding acrylic doors for easy access
- Bamboo and aluminum are very eco-friendly materials
- Mesh top permits excellent ventilation
- 3-year warranty
- Free shipping
- Non-reflective surfaces
- Doors are made of acrylic, which is easily scratched
- Not suitable for UTH (Under Tank Heating)
- One side view
2. The Strongest: Essential 4 PVC & Aluminum Enclosure
This Maximum Reptile Essential 4 PVC & Aluminum Enclosure is the best choice if you want something strong that will last for decades. This is made from real PVC panels that don’t just hold humidity better, they’re also fireproof, rot-proof, and never break.
Maximum Reptile is new in the reptile business, but its creator, Paul Barclay, isn’t. For over 44 years, he’s been designing and building reptile enclosures for personal and commercial use.
The Maximum Reptile Essential 4 Enclosure measures 48x24x24, which means 7.51 sq feet of floor space for your beardie.
While it’s built tough, it’s pretty light for a medium-sized PVC enclosure. I could easily lift it by myself without any help.
The enclosure’s doors are well-designed. The doors are made of high-quality glass, so they won’t scratch. There’s a little handle on each door that lets you slide it open without touching the glass. I love how the doors slide about 1/2 to 1 inch into the enclosure’s frame rather than just stopping in the middle. Despite this, the glass doors are still VERY easy to remove for cleaning or cage maintenance.
It comes with a five-inch raised lip for a deep substrate layer that is thick enough to support live plants if you plan to use any. Sadly, most PVC enclosures don’t have this feature, so keepers have to use thin layers of substrate and keep live plants in pots. Deep substrates help in maintaining optimal humidity and also promote natural burrowing and digging behavior in beardies.
The enclosure can hold 108 quarts of substrate with its 5-inch substrate shield. You can easily fit three bags of The Bio Dude’s Terra Sahara and three gallons of water to moisten it.
You don’t need to buy extra thermometers or hygrometers with this tank because it has a built-in Humidity Control Panel.
With this tank, you can pick between a partial or full aluminum screen top. The screen top is designed in a way that allows for better ventilation and UVB light penetration. It lets 77% UVB through, which is much better than the 50-60% we see with some other popular enclosures with fine mesh tops.
- Better UVB transmission through the mesh (77%)
- Buyers can choose between a 50% or 100% mesh top
- It doesn’t have the ugly bar in the middle of the front that most PVC enclosures have
- Includes a digital thermometer and hygrometer with the probe
- 5-inch substrate shield
- 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.
- Purchasing the hood along with the enclosure is an extra $200
- Shipping isn’t free. It will cost you $30 extra
3. Best for Beginners: Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium
Carolina Custom Cage is one of the most popular glass tanks for bearded dragons. It is made by the same people behind Carolina Custom Dragons, Inc. who are known for successfully breeding healthy dragons for years.
The Carolina custom cage is one of the most recommended enclosures for beardies. Every cage is made with quality and durability in mind, which is what makes them so successful.
It is available in 18 different sizes. This particular model is a 120-gallon tank which is the perfect tank size for adult bearded dragons.
It’s a lightweight cage that I can move on my own without needing any help. The cage is shipped in parts but assembly is fairly straightforward. I can assemble and disassemble it if needed without having to call someone else.
The quality of this cage still amazes me after a year! Also, the sizes were exactly what I wanted. The cage offers 120 gallons of ample space for your dragon’s day-to-day activities. I love this specific model because it has a decently sized deep area, so there’s plenty of room in every direction. Instead of just moving side to side, my bearide can move in any direction he wants.
I like the top screen too. It’s not flimsy. Made of aluminum, it’s highly secure and easily removable. You don’t have to worry about your cat climbing on this screen top. There’s nothing more frustrating than cats sitting on mesh and breaking the screen.
It is made of high-quality, sturdy materials that will last for a long time.
Due to the reinforced cardboard, extra Styrofoam, and double packaging, it’s extremely secure.
Every terrarium model features a waterproof base and key-lock security to keep your pet safe.
Carolina Custom terrariums come in equal size plates of glass and screw together easily at the corners. The base is one part as it has the top with large doors that make cleaning and arranging easier.
Every bearded dragon owner loves the large doors, which make cleaning and arranging easy. The cage is shipped in parts but assembly is fairly easy.
The terrarium’s base is watertight, which prevents leaks. The terrarium’s roof is a mesh screen. On top of the cage, there is a metal grating that keeps other pets from getting inside. Additionally, the top mesh can support heating or small equipment and improve efficient air circulation.
- Large 120-gallon tank perfect size for adult bearded dragons.
- Strong mesh top on either half of the cage.
- 360° view glass.
- Double hinge door for easy access and cleaning
- With an under-tank heater, the thin glass may become too hot.
- Once installed, the mesh top is difficult to remove.
4. Also our Favorite: REPTI ZOO 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 removable screen top 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 has several ergonomic installation features for heaters, thermometers, and lights.
The screen top and side windows allow for good ventilation and the raised bottom is perfect for a substrate heater if you ever need one.
The front doors also feature a lock that requires a key to open, which means an extra layer of security.
The tank is shipped disassembled but has a straightforward setup.
|Dimensions||48″ x 24″ x 24″|
- 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.
- The removable screen allows for easy top access for cleaning
- Glass panes may chip during the installation process.
- Due to the additional mesh, it is more difficult to manage tank temperatures in cooler spaces.
- Front glass doors can be hard to open
5. Most Affordable: Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium
The next cage on our list of best 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.
Ideal cage size for young bearded dragons.
Your bearded dragon will feel right at home with a realistic sandy backdrop. The large swinging doors make 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 transportation, so check for any defects before putting your dragon inside.
This Exo Terra bearded dragon cage features double-hinged doors with a snap-locking mechanism. You will have to take extra care when opening and cleaning because enclosures with hinged doors are more prone to accidental breakage.
|Dimensions||18 x 18 x 12 Inch|
- Great ventilation system on the sides
- Durable screen top made of metal that can support a heat light
- Natural-looking background
- Does not hold humidity well
- The background is made out of Styrofoam
- Can be hard to find a substrate to fit these dimensions
- Extremely heavy
6. Carolina Cages 67-Gallon Long Terrarium
The Carolina Cages 67-Gallon Long Terrarium is a high-quality glass tank that is perfect 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 has a lockable mesh top with 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
- A deep base is ideal for digging
- 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 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 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 with enough room to run about and exercise.
Pro Tip: Always remember the bigger the cage, the better.
Cage Size for Baby Bearded Dragons
For a baby dragon, you will need at least a 20-gallon tank which is about 30x13x12 inches. However, we recommend getting a 40-gallon (48x12x14) as you will need a bigger tank anyway when your beardie reaches 3 to 4 months of age.
Cage Size for Juvenile Bearded Dragons
For juveniles that are 3 to 5 months old, a minimum of a 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.
Cage Size for Full Grown Bearded Dragons
A 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, which 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 lives.
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 doors also provide easy access to the terrarium and help 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 the 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 exposure to heat, in particular around the heat lamp.
- If the enclosure is 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 inches is enough verticle space.
Common Bearded Dragon Enclosure Issues
The most common mistake beginner pet owners make when buying bearded dragon terrariums is choosing a very small enclosure.
Smaller terrariums are usually more affordable and may seem like a better size for a baby bearded dragon. But don’t be tempted! Bearded dragons grow very quickly and 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 a 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 Kit
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 it with the necessary equipment.
Bearded Dragon Habitat: FAQs
Do bearded dragon cages smell?
Bearded dragons are odor-free pets; however, if you don’t clean their cage on a 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.
How to clean a bearded dragon Cage?
You should remove any feces or uneaten food on a daily basis. Clean hard surfaces every week. Also, do a full-habitat deep cleaning at least once every month.
How to make bearded dragon enclosure warmer?
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.
What temperature should a bearded dragon enclosure be?
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.
What Size Tank Does A Bearded Dragon Need?
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.
Should A Bearded Dragon Terrarium Have A Front Opening Door?
Yes, front-opening doors are best for bearded dragon enclosures. It will allow you to feed and handle your beardie with ease. Front-opening doors also make cleaning and maintaining the cage a lot easier. Top-opening doors should be avoided because bearded dragons don’t like to be picked from above. They will perceive you as a predator. Also, top-opening terrariums are harder to access without disturbing heating and lighting elements.
Do I Need To Use A Stand With A Bearded Dragon Terrarium?
No, stands are not necessary for bearded dragon enclosures. However, some heavy cages, like the carolina 120-gallon tank, look better with a stand. If you have decided not to use a stand, make sure the corners of your enclosure are raised to allow airflow under the cage.
How many bearded dragons can be kept in a single tank?
Ideally, only one male bearded dragon should be kept in an enclosure. Because bearded dragons are territorial animals and will fight with each other. They are never found in groups in the wild.
Are tall cages good for bearded dragons?
Bearded dragons are semi-arboreal creatures and not very good climbers. They spend most of their time on the ground. So, floor space is more important than the height of the enclosure. Make sure to choose a cage that is wide enough to support their semi-arboreal activities.
Bearded Dragon Cage Setup
Once you have chosen the best enclosure bearded dragon, you would want to set it up and install all the necessary equipment. Here is a very good video on how to set it up properly.
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.
The best tanks are large enough and provide good ventilation. They also retain heat better.
The most important aspects to consider when buying the best enclosure for bearded dragon are Size, Safety, and Design. But you should also look for durability, material, hood fixing, and door styles.
If you have any questions or want us to review other bearded dragon terrariums, let us know in the comments.