bearded dragon handbook

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Best Cheap Bearded Dragon Kits

Have you considered getting a bearded dragon starter kit and wondering whether they are worth the price?

Starter kits are an option many first-time bearded dragon owners turn to. 

They typically provide most of the basics you need for a habitat setup, including the enclosure itself. 

Starter kits tend to come with smaller tanks, so they work well when your pet is a baby or juvenile. 

My top choice for a bearded dragon starter kit would be the Zilla Reptile Starter Kit. It is top-rated and at a very reasonable price. While it doesn’t come with everything you need from day one, several necessary basic supplies come with it. If you are new to owning a bearded dragon, a starter kit is a great starting point. 

Cheap Bearded Dragon Kits In This Review

What to Look For in Bearded Dragon Starter Kits

If you decide to go with a bearded dragon starter kit, it’s essential to look at all the basics they come with. 

The more you get with the kit, the less you will have to buy individually. 

If you find one at a pet store, be sure to research all the items it includes before you decide to purchase it. 

Unfortunately, some starter kits with items you don’t need or aren’t compatible with bearded dragons, and you are just wasting your money. 

What to Avoid When Buying Bearded Dragon Starter Kits

If you will go the starter kit route, make sure you are buying once specifically designed for bearded dragons.

There are many starter kits on the market, which means if you buy one designed for turtles, you may not be getting everything you need for your beardie. 

Keep in mind, although something is budget-friendly, it doesn’t necessarily make it a great item.

Some of the starter kits on the market have items you wouldn’t want in your bearded dragon tank

This includes a sand substrate or bulbs with too low of a wattage. 

bearded dragon kit cheap

Reviews of The Best Cheap Bearded Dragon Kits

Bearded dragon starter kits aren’t always the cheapest option. 

However, I did find the top 3 starter kits at prices I would consider reasonably priced. 

I looked for quality starter kits enabling you to have a good start with your bearded dragon. 

Starter kits rarely come in large size tanks, so it’s essential to go in with the understanding you will have to upgrade to a bigger tank as your beardie grows. 

Zilla Reptile Starter Kit

Zilla Reptile Starter Kit 10 with Light and Heat, Desert
  • Ideal habitat for small desert-dwelling animals
  • Terrarium Liner is odor-fighting, non-abrasive and treated with a biodegradable enzyme
  • Glass tank is Made in the USA
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Zilla reptile starter kit is much more affordable than others currently on the market, which is always a good thing. 

The starter kit comes with a screen cover, humidity/temperature gauge, substrate carpet, a black incandescent bulb, and a white spot bulb. 

A stronger screen on top is crucial, so you don’t have any runaway dragons. 

While it does come with a few basic needs, you will need to buy more supplies for this tank. I’ll go into detail in a moment about everything a bearded dragon tank requires. 

While the price is great, your adult bearded dragon will not be able to live comfortably in the tank. 

Once your baby grows, you will have to go with a larger tank size. 

You will be able to fit a food dish and rocks to begin with. 


  • Reasonably priced
  • Good for baby beardies

Zilla Desert Reptile Starter Kit

Zilla Basic Tropical Reptile Starter Kit, 10 Gallon Terrarium, for Juvenile Tropical Pets
  • 10 gallon terrarium starter kit
  • Made-in-the-USA terrarium is 20.25 x 10.5 x 12.56 inches
  • Great starter kit for leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and juvenile snakes
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The Zilla Reptile Starter Kit comes with a 10-gallon aquarium, which will work just fine for your baby beardie. 

The kit includes:

  • A heat mat.
  • A daytime blue incandescent bulb.
  • A reflective dome light fixture.
  • Humidity/temperature gauge.
  • Carpet substrate.
  • Screen cover. 

What I like about the Zilla kit is it comes with a heat mat. 

They go underneath to help save space.

It helps supply the needed warmth to keep the appetite up in your beardie. 

When you have a smaller cage, this is a great bonus. 


  • 10 gallons tank size
  • Includes care guide 
  • Desert theme substrate 

Zilla Tropical Reptile Starter Kit

Zilla Reptile Starter Kit 10 with Light and Heat, Tropical
  • An ideal habitat for tropical animals
  • Size 10 glass terrarium with fresh air screen cover
  • Screen cover will keep your critter safe and secure inside their home
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

The most reasonably priced recommendation on my list is the Zilla tropical reptile starter kit. 

Keep in mind, with the low price you won’t get everything you need. 

The 10-gallon kit comes with a screen cover, one light fixture with daytime bulb, green reptile carpet, heating pad, and thermometer and humidity gauge. 

Since the tank is smaller, the heating pad will help take up less space. 

Remember, you will need to add a heat lamp to this tank, so your beardie has a basking spot in their tank. 

However, the kit’s price is very reasonable, and adding the right bulb won’t break the bank. 


  • Heating pad 
  • 10-gallon tank
  • Tropical theme substrate

Bearded Dragon Lighting Kits

Have the appropriate lighting in your enclosure is crucial in providing a healthy habitat for your bearded dragon. 

Lighting kits typically provide all the lighting supplies needed to set up your tank. 

I recommend the Zoo Med Desert Lighting Kit. It includes your basking light and a 13-watt fluorescent lamp. 

It is a combo dome light fixture, so it will take up less space than having to purchase two lights individually. 

It comes with switches, making it easy to turn them on and off as needed. 

What Does a Bearded Dragon Tank Need?

It’s imperative to provide all the basic necessities to ensure your bearded dragon has a habitable environment to live in.

Without the proper setup, your bearded dragon is more vulnerable to illness which could lead to death. 

Every beardie tank requires the following supplies from the day you bring your new pet home. 

Heat Lamp

Your beardie needs a heat lamp in their tank to allow for a basking spot. 

The heat lamp helps your beardie to regulate their body temperature. 

In addition, it also aids in digestion. 

Without the proper heat lamp, impaction can occur in your pet lizard. 

It’s a severe condition causing a great deal of pain for them. 

One side of your tank will allow a hotter spot, while another provides for a cool area. 

UVB Lighting

When bearded dragons live in captivity, they miss out on the much-needed Vitamin D3 from natural sunlight. 

Providing them with the proper UVB lighting allows them the opportunity to receive the necessary vitamin. 

The light also aids in calcium absorption, vital in avoiding metabolic bone disease (MBD). 

MBD causes the bones in bearded dragons to become brittle, making them more likely to break. 

Food and Water Dishes

You don’t need anything fancy when it comes to a food dish.

If you have a smaller cage, consider combo repti rock water and food dishes, like the one from Zoo Med. 

It’s always important to clean both your food and water dishes daily. 

As your dragon grows, you’ll want to get a larger water bowl. 

Bearded dragons enjoy bathing in their water dishes from time to time. 

They also use it for defecating, so it’s vital to sanitize it thoroughly. 


Your beardie’s cage should have a suitable substrate, or bedding, lining the bottom. 

My top picks for bedding are reptile carpet, peat moss, sphagnum moss, or ceramic tiles. 

Avoid anything too small because your bearded dragon is more likely to eat it. 

This includes gravel and calcium sand. 


You will need to monitor both the hot and cool spots of your bearded dragon enclosure. I recommend thermometer guns. 

They tend to be very accurate and are easier to use than regular thermometers. 


Is a starter kit worth the money?

In general, starter kits get mixed reviews from people. 

Some people think they are a waste of money, but they provide an easy introduction to owning a bearded dragon. 

As long as you know it’s not going to have everything you need and you like have to buy a larger tank down the road, there is nothing wrong with beginning with a starter kit. 

Is there a benefit to starting with a smaller tank?

While it’s never enjoyable to spend money on more than one tank, starting small is an advantage.

If you put a baby bearded dragon in a giant tank, they will have a challenging time catching the insects you feed them. 

If your beardie cannot catch their food, you will need to feed them by hand. 

What size tank does an adult bearded dragon need?

While the smaller sizes work fine for babies, you will need at least a 55-gallon tank for your adult beardie. 

Ideally, it should be closer to 100 gallons. 

You want to make sure your beardie can fully turn around in their space without bumping into the sides. 

If your baby bearded dragon has outgrown your starter kit, I recommend checking out Carolina Customs Cages. 

They make outstanding cages lasting the lifetime of your pet. 

In addition, finding a top with two separate screens allows easy access to the inside of your beardie’s cage. 

What do bearded dragons eat?

The tank you choose for your pet lizard isn’t the only important part of being a bearded dragon owner. 

You also need to know their diet requirements. 

The diet of a bearded dragon changes as they age, but it will always consist of plant matter and animal matter from feeder insects.

Provide commercial foods to your beardie, but they should be supplemented with fresh foods. 

A baby beardie has a diet consisting of more insects, where an adult eats more plant matter. 

In addition, fruit is considered a treat to beardies. 

Offer it just a few times a week, so they don’t grow a preference for it. 

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