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 cage with all the necessary tools installed in it. Here is a post on the bearded dragon habitat requirements. 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. Here is a detailed post on where do bearded dragons come from?.
Some owners mistakenly think they can let their bearded dragon run about their house, in their garden, or just outdoors. Letting your beardie to 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.
Instead, you must invest in a proper bearded dragon cage. Proper cages can make the difference between life and death.
- 1 What to Look for in a Bearded Dragon Cage?
- 2 Best Bearded Dragon Enclosures/Cages/Tanks
- 3 Frequently asked questions about bearded dragon cages
- 4 Do bearded dragon cages smell?
What to Look for in a Bearded Dragon Cage?
Before jumping right into the recommendations its very important to understand what size cage is suited for your beardie.
How big does a bearded dragon enclosure need to be?
It’s extremely important to provide your bearded dragon with a cage that has enough room for them to run about and exercise. Always remember, the bigger the cage the better.
Cage Size for Baby Bearded Dragon
For a baby bearded 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.
Cage Size for Juvenile Bearded Dragon
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 that offers enough room for your dragon to live a healthy life.
Cage Size for Full Grown Bearded Dragon
Full-grown lizard, typically 15 to 18 months old, needs a larger cage/tank. They do best in a 100 to 120-gallon tank.
A lot of people in the bearded dragon community especially on the internet recommend a smaller cage size like 55-gallon for full-grown dragons. You can still get away with a 55-gallon but I honestly believe its way too small for a full-grown bearded dragon. If you still want to go with a smaller cage, don’t go anywhere bellow a 75-gallon.
Remember, the bigger the cage the better.
Some other basic requirements for a bearded dragon enclosure include:
- Must allow for proper air circulation. Two main factors are the height and the material used to create the enclosure.
- Must be able to retain the correct temperature. If it loses warmth quickly, heating costs will increase as it will need to be compensated for.
- The shortest dimension should be no less than the length of the adult bearded dragon.
- Must be secure enough that your beardie cannot escape and other critters cannot get in.
- 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 bearded dragon 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.
- 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.
Best Bearded Dragon Enclosures/Cages/Tanks
Below is the list of best enclosures that both you and your beardie will love.
1. Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures
Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures is relatively new in the market, but it has proved to be one of the best enclosures for bearded dragons. This beautifully designed cage has plenty of room for your beardie to run, jump, and climb. As this is a huge cage, you can easily add branches, hammocks, and other stuff to make an ideal habitat for your bearded dragon.
The front sliding doors make it easy to clean as well as minimize the stress when approaching your beardie. One of the things, why we like Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures so much, is its bamboo finished panels. Bamboos are better than glass at retaining heat and minimize reflection.
Aluminum framing, bamboo-lined panels, galvanized steel screen top, and acrylic front-sliding doors make Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosures one of the best cages for bearded dragons.
Read Full Review about Zen Habitat Reptile Enclosure.
2. Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium; Easy Assembly
Carolina Custom Cage is one of the most popular enclosures in the bearded dragon’s community and it’s our favorite too. It’s available in 18 different sizes. Every model of the cage features a waterproof base and key-lock security to keep your beardie safe.
Carolina Custom Cages comes in equal size plates of glass and screws together easily at the corners. The base is one part as it the top with larger doors that make cleaning and arranging easier. The cage also features a heavy-duty screen top that will give plenty of fresh air to your bearded dragon.
Every bearded dragon owner loves the large doors, that makes cleaning and arranging easy. The cage is shipped in parts, but the assembly is fairly easy.
Read Full Reviews about Carolina Custom Cages.
3. Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium
The next cage on our list of top bearded dragon enclosures is Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium. This is a beautifully designed 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 oppose to “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 bigger floor area is the most suited cage 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 cage, it sometimes gets cracked in the transportation so be sure to check for any defects before putting your dragon inside.
4. Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit
Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kit is actually too small for housing a bearded dragon, but we would still like to include it in the list of top bearded dragon cages due to the number of features it offers. Despite its smaller size, it’s still one of the best options to get started.
This cage comes with a basking light, rock, decorative pants, UVB and Heat lamp, saving you another shopping trip in case you forgot them. Tetra Deluxe Aquatic Turtle Kits are designed for aquatic turtles; thus it holds water very well. You can simply fill the tank with sand for the bearded dragon.
It features a large removable screen top that provides plenty of fresh air, but make sure you weight down this top to prevent your bearded dragon from pushing their way out. Since this cag is designed to hold water that is why it lacks the swinging doors and a security lock. This makes it challenging to interact with the beardie.
5. REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium
One the list of best bearded dragon enclosures we have REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium. It is one of the best options available if you are looking for a stylish bearded dragon cage. This cage measures 36″ x 18″ x 18″ or 36″ x 18″ x 24″ which is about 50 gallon. The recommended size for a bearded dragon is at least 55 but a 50 gallon will still ok.
This cage features a large sturdy screen top that provides good air circulation. Since it has plenty of space, you can add branches, hammocks and other stuff to make it an ideal habitat for your bearded dragon.
6. Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Aluminum Screen Habitat
The Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Aluminum Screen Habitat is designed especially for arboreal lizards. This cage can be assembled very easily without the need for any tools or technical knowledge. The whole process of assembling the cage can be done with a single screwdriver.
This cage features a wide floor panel that can be decorated with different colors of your choosing. It comes with two doors— the main door at the front of the cage while a smaller door at the bottom. The bottom door is handy especially in the cleaning of the cage.
The whole cage is made up of aluminum that resists rusting and corrosion which means the cage will last for many years.
Once you buy a cage for your bearded dragon, its time to decorate it with the right tools and equipment. Read our post on how an ideal bearded dragon habitat looks like.
Frequently asked questions about bearded dragon cages
Do bearded dragon cages smell?
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 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 bearded dragon 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 each 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 beardie can easily move to one or the other if needed. Read more about bearded dragon heat and lighting.