The 3 Best Ball Python Enclosures And Why You NEED One!

Are you getting a ball python, but you’re looking for the best tank to keep it in?

Do you get confused about the different requirements and just want answers on which is best?

You’re not alone!

Sorting through the hundreds and thousands of pet habitats out there is ticky, and, honestly, your local pet store employees may not know a lot about each type of species and its requirements.

We’re here to help!

With specific research, we’ve come up with a list of the top 3 best ball python enclosures.

The best tank for a ball python should provide at least 4.5 cubic feet (0.13 m³) of space with 4.5 square feet (0.42 m²) of floor space. They’re usually 36″ inches (0.91 m) by 18″ inches (0.46 m) by 12″ inches (0.3 m) and made from clear plastic or glass. Our picks include:

Check out the rest of the article for more information, including what features are important in the best ball python terrarium, quick habitat setup guide, and our specific reviews of each product below.

What To Look For In The Best cage For Ball Python

This section tells you what you should look for in these products.

Not all enclosures are made equally, and not all enclosures will fit the ball python’s needs.

Each of our picks will fit these guidelines, but it’s still good for you to know in case you want to do more research on your own.

Best Size Tank For Ball Python

The first feature you need to get nailed down is the size of the tank for your ball python.

Ball pythons are shy reptiles and spend a lot of their time resting and hiding.

Unlike the bearded dragon or iguana, this means the ball python doesn’t need as much space for movement comparatively.

Despite the fact they can grow up to 5′ feet (1.52 m) long, they don’t need much space.

The common suggestion for ball python cage size is 18″ inches (0.46 m) long, 36″ inches (0.91 m) wide, and 12″ inches (0.3 m) high.

It’s fine if the ball python cage is a little larger or smaller than this, but don’t go too much bigger.

Adult ball pythons are happier in smaller spaces.

In the wild, they find hide places and prefer cramped areas.

It helps them stay safe from larger predators and gives their long, skinny bodies an edge-up against intruders coming into their space.

It also helps them retain heat better.

Material

The terrarium material is best made out of clear plastic or glass.

This will allow you to see in and enjoy your pet while also keeping the heat and humidity up inside the snake’s tank.

Screens or mesh for the sides isn’t good at all.

While good air circulation will prevent respiratory issues from developing, the ball python has a more critical humidity need.

Mesh or screen sides make it difficult to keep the humidity up, which results in other, more severe and likely, health issues.

Some people get creative in making their ball python tanks.

This is fine as long as these needs are met.

(Though it is much easier just to buy one on our list.)

Durability

When you buy an adult ball python enclosure, you don’t want to worry about it breaking or needing to replace it.

A good terrarium will last the entire 30-year life span of the ball python.

But if you buy a product with poor durability, then you’ll need to replace it every few years.

All companies will claim their products are meant to last.

The best way to tell if this is true is to speak to those who’ve used them.

We did the hard work for you in our reviews and mentioned anything users said about the design of the products in our specific reviews below.

Top Design

The top design is important with ball pythons.

While they aren’t exceptionally good climbers, they can still surprise you.

In a top, you’ll want either a solid piece top or one with a securing latch.

It’s also easy to install one yourself.

Many cages use a screen top too.

This is fine as long as you’re able to keep the humidity and temperature up to where it needs to be.

If you find it difficult to keep these specifications up, replace the screen top with a solid one.

For those worried about fresh air and circulation, consider adding a few live plants to the python cages.

Live plants clean the air, keep it fresh and oxygenated, and help increase humidity too.

Accessories/Add-ons

While not essential, there are some accessories a tank may include, which makes your life a whole lot easier.

These add-ons may include:

  • Doors in front
  • Pre-installed light fixtures
  • Bottom tray for removing dirty substrate
  • Thermometer/Hygrometer included
  • Backgrounds
  • Different sizes
  • Ports for threading cords through
  • Places to attach lights and other needed tools

Keep these in mind if you’re unsure of which cage to get.

The most important factors are size, material, and top design.

Cost

Buying a reptile terrarium isn’t going to be cheap, but it doesn’t have to break the bank either.

However, you need to remember a ball python has a long life span (30 years is common when well cared for).

Buying cheap may save you money now, but you’ll be replacing it every couple of years.

It may be wiser to spend more now and save more in the long run.

Because prices fluctuate regularly, we’ll mention the general price range of each product at the time of this writing.

It’ll be up to you to click and see current pricing.

Other Best Habitat For Ball Python Basics

Picking the best terrarium for a ball python is only one part of a correct habitat for these oddly cute pets.

This section gives you a brief guide on other setup needs.

Temperature

As with all reptiles, you’ll need to hit several temperature marks throughout the tank.

This is called a gradient temperature.

Cold-blooded creatures, such as the ball python, need this variety to help them regulate their body temperatures.

Here’s what you need to reach:

  • Basking temperature = 88° – 96° degrees Fahrenheit (31° – 35° C)
  • Overall temperature = 78° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit (25° – 27° C)
  • Hide/cool spot = 75° degrees Fahrenheit (24° C)
  • Nighttime temperature > 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C)

In this smaller space, these temps are usually reached by using a higher wattage basking light on one side of the cage and placing the hiding spot on the opposite side.

This allows you to create a natural gradient over the tank.

Check the temperatures with a thermometer installed somewhere in the middle of the tank and use a laser-directed thermometer to spot check the basking spot and cool spot.

The heating light should be kept on for 12 hours and then turned off.

The light and temperature change simulate the ball python’s natural day-night cycle.

This is important for its health.

Humidity

Ball pythons tend to develop shedding issues and injuries when the humidity is too low.

This is just a natural problem for them.

They need a relative humidity of 50-60%.

This is a little higher than what your room will probably offer on its own.

Keep the humidity up by including live plants, always having a water dish in the cage, and possibly misting the tank a couple of times per day.

Use a hygrometer to keep an eye on the humidity.

Once you’ve got the hang of it, this is easy to manage, but it may take some practice and attention to get there.

Avoid placing your tank near these items to avoid drying out their air:

  • Windows
  • Heaters
  • Air conditioning vents
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Doors opening to the outside

UVB Lighting

Most reptiles need extra UVB lighting to absorb more vitamin D to prevent calcium deficiencies.

This isn’t the case with most pet snakes, including the ball python.

Having a UVB bulb over the basking spot certainly won’t hurt, but the jury is out on how much it helps.

If you do use one, make sure it follows the same day-night 12-hour cycle as the heating lamp.

For those using live plants (which we recommend), you will want to use a UVB light to keep the plant alive and healthy.

Furniture

Ball pythons need some items in their tanks to interact with.

This is largely up to you and what style you want the ball python habitat to look like.

Low rocks and branches/logs make good items for the snake to slither over and bask on.

The one thing you must have is a hide box.

Make this out of anything or just buy one, but the python needs a place to hide, cool down, and feel more secure.

It should be covered and dark.

You also need to place a substrate the ball python can dig into and bury itself in.

Plants

Live plants are a good choice to provide clean air and increase humidity.

Take care to do some research to see if it’s safe to be around ball pythons.

Good plants include:

  • Weeping fig trees
  • Flame Violet or Silver Skies episcia cup
  • Tiger Cub, Fireball, Zoe neoregelia
  • Fresh moss
  • Philodendron cordatum
  • Tineke Rubber Plant

Water

A shallow water bowl should be kept in the tank at all times.

1″ inch deep would be just fine.

Ball pythons drink water and enjoy soaking in the water to absorb moisture through their skin.

As with many reptiles, they also seem to enjoy pooping in their water as well.

And while dealing with poop is far from the most enjoyable thing about your pet it’s important to pay attention to their droppings.

This is because a ball python’s poop is an indicator of their overall health so check out our other post for more information on that.

For this reason, include spot-checking the water for droppings every single day (or multiple times per day).

The water bowl should be cleaned out and disinfected (washed) after this happens.

You may want to get multiple water bowls in case you can’t fully clean the water dish right away.

Keeping a water dish in the tank is important for hydration, but it plays an important role in keeping the humidity up.

The warm tank will cause some of the water to permeate into the air raising the humidity.

Don’t make the bowl too deep, or the snake may have problems.

Also, keep the sides low, so the snake can get out easily.

Fresh, dechlorinated water works well.

Substrate

With snakes, a good substrate is a must, even more than with other reptiles.

They’ll be in constant contact with the floor of the tank, and their instincts tell them they need to burrow too.

Fresh mulches and beddings work well with ball pythons as long as you get them from a respected pet store either in person or online.

Other mulches from hardware stores are more likely to have been treated with chemicals or be infested with mites.

And mites are a terrible issue to have with your snake.

If you end up having this problem head over to our post for handling a snake with mites.

The common substrate includes:

  • Aspen
  • Cypress
  • Coconut fibers
  • Coconut husks

Good substrate gives the python something to burrow in, traps bacteria, makes cleanup easier, and isn’t accidentally ingestible.

If you use a liner or reptile carpet for the substrate, make sure you use a mulch or bedding material inside the hide box.

We have a dedicated post on the best substrates for ball pythons if you want a quick list and additional info on substrates.

Review Of The Best Ball Python Enclosure

best ball python enclosure

This section covers our picks and goes into detail on their features, including the pros and cons drawn from user experiences.

Use this information to help you decide which product is right for you.

Don’t forget to click over to check the current pricing.

Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, Extra-Long

Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, Extra-Long Deep...
  • Our growing family of Carolina Custom Cages Terrariums are very easy to assemble and come in 21 different models. The 24”L...
  • The Bio Deep models feature a 12” deep waterproof base. The Bio Deep Hybrid models feature 9” and 12” deep waterproof...
  • 24Lx18Dx18H, 24Lx18Dx24H, 24Lx18Dx36H, 36Lx18Dx18H, 36Lx18Dx24H, 36Lx18Dx36H, 36Lx24Dx18H, 36Lx24Wx24H, 48Lx18Dx18H,...

Carolina Custom Cages are a premium-priced line of pet terrarium for all kinds of pets.

This particular model is perfect for adult ball pythons.

They make these cages easy to assemble with clear directions.

Still, the design is well-built and secured against potential escape.

If you’ve never had to find a snake that has escaped then let me tell you… it’s not fun!

But, if this happens here’s our post on finding a lost ball python.

This model comes in 48″ inches (1.22 m) long, 24″ inches (0.61 m) wide, and 18″ inches (0.46 m) high.

This is more than what’s recommended, but not so much larger the python won’t feel secure.

If you end with a larger adult ball python (the ones going up to 5′ feet (1.52 m) long), this crate will be a great fit.

Although Carolina Custom Cages focuses on bearded dragons, the tough glass and waterproof bottom work well with ball pythons as well.

The tank is tall enough for you to add your lighting inside and attached to the top of the cage.

There are strong hinged doors on the front for easier handling of the ball python when needed.

The top is a thick mesh to provide some air circulation without too much humidity loss.

This company is known for its enclosures lasting years and years.

Pros For This Product:

  • Tough materials last a long time
  • Doors in front for easy access
  • Plenty of space
  • Waterproof bottom
  • Easy to assemble

Cons For This Product:

  • Higher cost

Hagen Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium

Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Kit, for...
  • Front window ventilation
  • Dual doors for an escape-free access
  • Waterproof bottom

This Exo Terra product made by Hagen is smaller than the other options, but it’s still large enough to support an adult ball python.

And at a much lower price too.

The enclosure has dimensions of 24″ inches (0.61 m) long, 18″ inches (0.46 m) wide, and 12″ inches (0.3 m) high.

5′ foot pythons may feel a little cramped, but most end up around 3′ feet (0.91 m) long, which will be fine in here.

The shorter height prevents you from placing the lights directly in the tank, but the screen top allows the heat to permeate through the top easier.

Exo Terra does include an enclosed place to install the lights and run cords through.

The smaller space will also make the enclosure easier to heat and keep the humidity up.

There are doors on the front which open to make it easier to clean and handle the python as needed.

It’s compatible with specific lights already as well.

This makes it a little easier for your overall setup.

Pros For This Product:

  • Good size for most adult ball pythons
  • Tough glass sides retain heat and moisture
  • Affordable pricing
  • Nice foam background for making the ball python feel protected

Cons For This Product:

  • Too small for the largest ball pythons
  • Glass may crack under heat when using a heating mat
  • Mesh on top may melt from the heat

REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium

REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium Tank Double...
  • [Patent Design] Size of RK0119 :36" x 18" x 18". Tough screen top provides ventilation and allows uvb and infrared...
  • Raised bottom frame in order to fit a substrate heater; Waterproof bottom makes this tank can be used both as desert...
  • Front doors can open separately, easy to feed your pet and prevent escape

This Repti Zoo terrarium for reptiles is the right size and design for ball pythons.

It’s a medium-priced option designed to last the test of time.

It comes in at 36″ inches (0.91 m) long, 18″ inches (0.46 m) wide, and 18″ inches (0.46 m) tall.

This is perfect for all ball python adults.

The top is made of a screen to allow for better ventilation and heating.

This does make it a little harder to keep in the humidity, but it’s possible to convert the top to a solid one.

The sides are made from tough and quality glass.

It includes doors that open for easy access and secure to prevent easy escape.

Repti Zoo includes windows and access ports on the sides for more ventilation if desired and an easy way to run cords through the sides if you wanted to use the heating light inside the tank.

The bottom is waterproof and reinforced to allow you to install a heating mat if desired.

The company claims the tank may be set up in 5 minutes.

It takes a little longer than this in my experience, but it is fast and easy.

Repti Zoo also packs this well for shipping to prevent breaking during transfer.

Pros For This Product:

  • Good value; lasts a long time
  • Perfect size for all adult pythons
  • Easy access doors
  • Ports for easy cord usage

Cons For This Product:

  • Loses humidity through the top

Commonly Asked Questions

Can a ball python enclosure be too big? – Yes, it can.

As juvenile pythons, use a smaller, temporary enclosure such as a tote.

As an adult, you don’t need to provide as much space as their length (they like to curl up).

Go with our recommendations to keep the space where it needs to be.

If the enclosure is too big, young pythons will be extremely stressed and feel unsafe.

What temperature will kill a ball python? – While these cold-blooded creatures can handle most temperature fluctuations well, you do need to watch the temps closely.

Going over 100° degrees Fahrenheit (38° C) is a bad idea.

This is too much.

As a bottom, you need to make sure they never drop below 65° degrees Fahrenheit (18° C). 70° degrees Fahrenheit (21° C) would be a better bottom temperature.

Ball pythons don’t handle these extremes as well as other reptiles.  

Do ball pythons need a day-night cycle? – Yes, they do.

As we mentioned above, do 12 hours on and 12 hours off cycle.

If you find the temp is dropping too much, consider a low setting on a heating mat underneath the substrate as an option.

Without a day-night cycle, the ball python won’t get enough rest.

This increases stress and results in health problems and a shorter life span.  

Is 70% humidity too high for a ball python? – Yes. Aim for 50-60% relative humidity.

Too high (as with 70%), and your pet will likely develop some kind of respiratory infection.

And one sign of this infection is “yawning”.

Read our post on why ball pythons yawn to see if your pet may be developing a respiratory infection or if it may be something else.

Too low, and your pet will have shedding problems and injuries.

Use a hygrometer to track the relative humidity and check it every day.

Conclusion

We hope you find this guide to the best ball python enclosures helpful.

Each one of these will make a great fit for any ball python owner.

Now it’s up to you to click over to check the price and order it.

Remember, this ball python vivarium will probably last you your entire time with the snake, so don’t be afraid to invest in a quality product.

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