bearded dragon handbook

Get our pet owner's guide for bearded dragons and help your special friend live its best life.

What Temperature Should A Bearded Dragon Tank Be?

Are you worried about your bearded dragon’s habitat setup?

Do you want to make sure you’re getting the correct temperature for these picky but cute pets?

Bearded dragons are relatively healthy creatures with few health problems which come up naturally, and one of the biggest things to do to help prevent a whole host of issues is to set up the tank the right way.

This being said, you may wonder:

What temperature should a bearded dragon tank be?

Bearded Dragons tank temperature needs to be maintained at a daytime temperature of 75-85°F (24-29°C), nighttime temperature 65-70°F (18-21°C), basking temperature 100-105°F (38-41°C), cool side temperature 70-85°F (21-29°C), and overall temperature 90°F (32°C).

Read on for more details on keeping your pet safe and healthy.

what temperature should a bearded dragon tank be

Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Their Tanks So Warm?

The entire purpose of the tank setup is to get the bearded dragon enclosure as close to the pet’s natural habitat as possible.

Unlike humans, all other animals have adapted for a specific type of environment.

The bearded dragon’s natural environment is in the hot deserts of Australia.

They’re used to high temperatures during the day and cool, but warm temperatures at night.

As such, we need to keep their tanks the same way. Beardies are cold-blooded creatures and can’t produce heat on their own; they need to absorb from another source.

Failure to keep the tank warm enough may result in digestive problems, high stress, or even death.

So make sure you know what the proper temperature a bearded dragon tank should be.

What Temperature Should My Bearded Dragon Tank Be?

As we stated before, a bearded dragon tank needs to vary a little based on the part of the tank and the time of day.

In this section, we’ll give more details on the temperatures and what each section means.

Basking Spot Temperature

The basking area is meant to be the hottest part of the vivarium.

This is where the bearded dragon will rest (or bask) to absorb heat and UVB light from the UVB bulb if it needs to.

The basking spot is also the only place where the temperature changes depending on age.

An adult bearded dragon’s spot should be between 100 ° – 105° degrees Fahrenheit (38 ° – 41 ° C), but a baby bearded dragon needs it around 110° degrees Fahrenheit (43 ° C).

Basking spots are heated with a heat lamp and/or a UV basking bulb.

Use a mercury vapor bulb to get both UVA, UVB, and heat all from a single source.

These bulbs are left on during the day and turned off at night.

You may want to use a timer switch to make sure you don’t forget to turn it on in the morning.

You measure the basking spot with a thermometer mounted nearby or using an infrared one pointed at the basking spot for a few seconds.

We have a great review on these products, check out our post on the best thermometers for bearded dragons.

Overall Temperature

The overall ambient temperature is where most of the tank rests at.

This temperature range is the same for a juvenile bearded dragon and adult.

Your goal is to get the overall temperature around 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32 ° C).

This is measured with a mounted thermometer in the middle of the tank.

Proper placement for the thermometer is halfway between the basking spot and the cool spot.

If your tank is around 40 gallons, you may be able to get away with just a basking light and UV light, which can heat the whole tank.

But if you’re using one bigger than this (which we recommend), you may need help.

Either use an additional basking lamp at a lower setting, use overhead fluorescent heating, or use an under-the-tank heat mat.

Warning! Under the tank, heaters can crack glass tanks in some cases.

Also, ensure your pet bearded dragon has a terrarium humidity level of around 20 – 40%.

This is measured with a hygrometer (humidity gauge).

We have another review post for anyone looking for basking lights here: the best basking light for bearded dragons.

Cool Spot Temperature (Hide Spot)

Bearded dragons need to be able to control their temperature with environmental means.

When we get hot, we sweat, and this cools us down.

Bearded dragons don’t have this capacity.

While your reptile can sit with their mouth open gaping, this only helps to cool them down a little.

In the wild, they dig themselves into mud or go and find cool shelter under a rock or log.

It needs to be the same in your tank.

Keep a piece of furniture (like a rock or a box) on the opposite side of your tank, and away from the basking spot.

This will be where your bearded dragon goes to cool itself down or relax after basking.

The cool/hide spot should stick between 70 ° – 85° degrees Fahrenheit (21 ° – 29 ° C).

Use a thermometer mounted near the cool spot to check on it.

The range is wide because the temperature will depend on the size of your tank and the type of heater used.

But as long as you’re within this range, you should be just fine.

Nighttime Temperature

Even though beardies are from the hot desert, they don’t need extreme heat all of the time.

Deserts get surprisingly cold at night.

Fortunately, our home’s natural temperature will probably work just fine.

You want the night temp to dip a little but go no less than 65 ° – 70° degrees Fahrenheit (18 ° – 21 ° C).

If you’re in a hotter climate and the temp doesn’t quite get low enough, don’t worry.

You just don’t want it to go below this range.

You don’t need to watch this one too closely unless you keep your house cooler.

Most likely, all you need to do to prevent this temperature in line is just turn off your heater at night.

The heat will go away slowly, and by the time you wake up, it may have just settled in this range.

Check your overall thermometer every morning to make sure the tank isn’t getting too cold.

Our post on what happens when bearded dragons get too cold goes into detail on what can happen with improper tank temperatures.

If it seems to be getting a little close to the 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18 ° C) mark, alter the timing of your heaters, so there is less time it’s off.

Another option to maintain night temperatures is a ceramic heat emitter.

These do not have light and only produce heat.

What Is The Lowest Temperature A Bearded Dragon Can Survive?

If you follow the rules we outlined above, you’ll be just fine with temperatures.

The lowest temp a bearded dragon can survive safely is 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18 ° C).

While it may be able to recover from temps lower than 60° degrees Fahrenheit (16 ° C), there’s no reason ever to do it.

If, for some reason, your power is out, use hand warmers, portable heaters, or at least cuddle the pet.


Now you know what temperature a bearded dragon tank should be at.

Keep these ranges and recommendations in mind, and your pet will be just fine!