bearded dragon handbook

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

Best Bearded Dragon Equipment

Are you worried about not having the proper bearded dragon equipment? 

As a bearded dragon owner, it’s crucial to supply your beardie’s enclosure with the appropriate supplies. 

As you walk through the aisles of a pet store, you sometimes can feel bombarded with the variety of products to buy. 

The most critical piece of equipment you will need, without a doubt, is your bearded dragon enclosure. 

There are a variety of terrariums or vivariums on the market. 

My top pick for an enclosure is the Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium. It provides bearded dragons with the proper amount of space they require, including a large enough area for all their additional equipment. 

Best Equipment For Bearded Dragons In This Review

What Is The Best Equipment For Bearded Dragons?

The best equipment will provide your bearded dragon an enclosure mimicking its natural habitat.

In the wild, bearded dragons do best in a desert climate, so it’s important to replicate this as much as possible.  

A bearded dragon tank without the right equipment can cause major health problems in your pet, even leading to a shorter life. 

In this article, I will list the 5 most important items you need to have to create a healthy environment for your beardie.

What to Look for When Buying the Best Equipment

Don’t skimp on quality when it comes to furnishing your bearded dragon’s enclosure. 

The correct vivarium requirements are essential in providing the most habitable environment. 

The wrong type of equipment can lead to health problems in your pet. 

So, while saving some money now might be nice, it can have long term effects on your pet lizard. 

As you are shopping, you might notice how quickly things add up. 

Remember the commitment you made as a bearded dragon owner and the price tag this comes with. 

What to Avoid When Choosing Bearded Dragon Equipment

You want to avoid anything with the potential to harm your pet lizard. 

Avoid using gravel or any other loose particles as a substrate since your lizard may ingest it, causing digestive problems. 

When they ingest particles, such as gravel, they are at risk for impaction, going from a mild problem to a serious one quickly.

Impaction stops the passage of food in your beardie’s stomach and, if not treated, can lead to death. 

Other examples of things to avoid putting in their tank include play sand, walnut shells, wood chips, and calcium sand. 

Wood is toxic to bearded dragons, so it should absolutely be avoided. 

bearded dragon equipment

Reviews Of The Best Bearded Dragon Equipment

Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium

Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, Tall Extra-Long Deep 48Lx24Dx24H, Easy Assembly
  • Our growing family of Carolina Custom Cages Terrariums are very easy to assemble and come in 21 different models. The 24”L models and the 36”L models feature hinged doors. The 48”L and 72”L models feature sliding doors. All terrariums feature key-lock security.
  • The Bio Deep models feature a 12” deep waterproof base. The Bio Deep Hybrid models feature 9” and 12” deep waterproof bases. All other models feature a waterproof base that is: 4” deep on the 18”H models, 6.3” deep on the 24”H models and 7.5” deep on the 36”H models.
  • 24Lx18Dx18H, 24Lx18Dx24H, 24Lx18Dx36H, 36Lx18Dx18H, 36Lx18Dx24H, 36Lx18Dx36H, 36Lx24Dx18H, 36Lx24Wx24H, 48Lx18Dx18H, 48Lx18Dx24H, 48Lx18Wx36H, 48Lx24Dx18H, 48Lx24Dx24H, 60Lx24Wx24H, Giant Deep 72Lx24Dx18H, 72Lx24Dx24H, 72Lx24Dx36H, Bio Deep 24Lx18Wx30H, Bio Deep 36Lx18Wx36H, Bio Deep Hybrid 18Lx18Wx42H, Bio Deep Hybrid 24Lx24Wx48H.
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High-quality terrariums or vivariums are a must when it comes to providing your bearded dragon with the proper habitat. 

There are many vivariums and terrariums on the market, but my top choice is the Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium. 

The Carolina Custom Cages provides an adequate amount of space for your pet to grow into. 

Bearded dragons require a longer tank, so a vivarium with lots of space is vital.

Adult dragons need much more space than babies. 

It gives them plenty of space to move around without feeling cramped. 

Vivariums don’t have to be too tall, just enough for your beardie to climb on a rock or log to reach their basking spot. 

Proper vivariums should give plenty of space for hide spots, branches, or even a hammock for your beardie to lay on.

If you choose to get branches from outside, be sure there are no small spots for insects, like crickets, to hide in. 

You don’t want it to be difficult for your beardie to get its food. 


  • 48”L x 24”D x 24”H inches (121 x 60 x 60 cm)
  • Waterproof base
  • Sliding doors
  • Key-lock security
  • Easy assembly

Zoo Med Reptisun UVB Lighting

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UVB lights provide the much needed Vitamin D3. 

Without it, your beardie is unable to absorb calcium properly. 

The Zoo Med Reptisun UVB lighting strip, or linear lights, fits well with the Custom Carolina Cage. 

The Reptisun UVB light provides a 10% output, which is the ideal amount for bearded dragons.

It is preferable to have a longer UVB lamp, which is why the Zoo Med Reptisun is my lamp of choice. 

Avoid using UVB coil lamps in your enclosure.  

The UV light from these bulbs can sometimes be too bright for lizards and can cause damage to their eyes over time. 

Don’t spend the money buying a cheaper source of light.

Low-quality UVB strip lights will likely burn out quicker, and you will find yourself buying them more often. 

You might often think you are saving money, but you end up spending more money in the long-run. 

Specialist reptile shops can test the UVB outlet for you. 


  • 10% UVB output
  • 22″ inches (56 cm) lighting tube

Zoo Med Repti Basking Spot Bulb

Unlike humans, bearded dragons cannot regulate their body temperature. 

As a bearded owner, you need to help them with this by providing a heat lamp. 

My top pick for your heat lamp would be the Zoo Med Repti Basking spot bulb.

The spot lamp will provide a much-needed basking spot for your pet. 

Having branches or a hammock inside your enclosure will help your lizard get close enough to their basking spot. 


  • Set of two bulbs
  • 100 watts
  • 120v
  • Well priced

Etekcity Infrared Thermometer Gun

Etekcity Lasergrip Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun
  • NOT FOR HUMAN: Temperature readings from these devices are inanimate objects. The measured temperature for humans or animals will be inaccurate
  • BETTER ACCURACY: 12:1 D:S, meaning it can accurately measure targets at greater distances compared to most others; For best accuracy, the distance between the thermometer and object of measurement should approximately be 14.17 inches (36 cm)
  • TARGET QUICKER: Measure surface temperature ranging from -58℉ to 716℉(-50℃ to 380℃), with 2 units ℉/℃ to choose; Response time: ≤500Ms; A built-in laser gives you the precision to hone in on the exact space you want to measure
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While there are a variety of types of thermostats to choose from, I certainly have my preferences. 

My #1 choice to check your vivarium temperature is the Etekcity Infrared Thermometer Gun. 

A thermometer gun is much more reliable than a regular thermometer when it comes to monitoring your bearded dragon’s tank. 

Priced well, the thermometer makes it easy to check the temperature of your dragon’s cool spot and basking spot. 

The built-in laser allows you to identify the spot you are checking easily.

Thermometers are vital in knowing whether your lizard’s enclosure is at the proper temperature.

Keep in mind the thermometer gun does not allow you to read the humidity level in your lizard’s tank. 

You will need to purchase separate thermostats to check the humidity. 

Finally, what’s great about the Etekcity thermometer is how it is operable from farther away and will still give you an accurate reading. 


  • Measures a huge range of temperatures 
  • Easy to use
  • Quick reading

MCLANZOO Reptile Carpet

MCLANZOO 2PCS Reptile Carpet 20 Gallon, Pet Terrarium Liner, Reptiles Cage Mat/Substrate for Snakes, Chameleons, Geckos and Kitchen Use with Tweezers Feeding Tongs Printing Desert
  • UNIQUE FABRIC MATERIAL: The high quality fabric using a non abrasive material and having the moss, solid print in the carpet so, the terrarium liner is soft and feels nice on your reptile's feet, tummy and teeth. Your reptile will not be caught in it
  • DURABLE AND REUSABLE: The difference between the terrarium liner and other substrates is that it is clean with no effort, it keeps your tank tidier. At cleaning time, roll up the fabric mat, keeping all the waste on top. Shake out the loose debris, rinse the mat with cold tap water and hang it dry. The mat dries quickly and looks good as new
  • IDEAL SIZE FOR TERRARIUM: Our red-carpet has the right size for your terrarium. As soon as the fabric terrarium blanket arrives, it is ready to be put into your reptile's home. You can cut the mat into the size that you need to fit your tank
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You will need to provide the enclosure with bedding, also known as substrate. 

While there are many different types available, in my opinion, using the MCLANZOO reptile carpet is the best option. 

The MCLANZOO reptile carpet is soft and customizable to your tank size. 

Just measure, cut, and lay on the vivarium floor. 

The material of the carpet is non-abrasive, making it gentle on your beardie’s feet. 

Also, their claws are not able to get stuck in the carpet. 

The benefit to the carpet is no loose debris, which your bearded dragon may accidentally ingest. 

Cleaning is a breeze. 

Simply shake off the waste, rinse the carpet with cold water, and hang to dry. 

Since the pack comes with two carpets, it’s easy to switch them out to allow for daily cleaning. 

Make a point to clean their enclosure once a week thoroughly. 

Vivariums can get pretty dirty, so it’s essential to make a point to do a thorough cleaning. 

Dirty tanks can lead to health conditions in bearded dragons. 


  • Easy to clean
  • Cost-effective
  • Reusable 
  • Comes with 2 sheets
  • Cut to fit your tank

Why Is The Proper Equipment Required?

Without a proper setup, your bearded dragon is unable to live a healthy lifestyle.

With the proper bearded dragon supplies, your pet can live up to up to 15 years! 

Several illnesses, including metabolic bone disease (MBD), can occur when their enclosure is not habitable. 

MBD also can occur with a poor diet. 

If their food intake is low in calcium and high in phosphorus, they are also at risk for MBD. 

Also, if your tank is too small, it can cause your bearded dragon to become stressed out. 


Should I get a reptile starter kit?

An all-in-one reptile starter kit may have caught your eye at the pet store, but are they worth the money?

While they seem like an ideal option, they don’t always offer everything you truly need to maintain a healthy living environment. 

You likely will end up spending even more money than you would have if you would have just bought everything separately. 

The benefit of not buying a kit is being able to pick and choose all the right pieces of equipment for your tank. 

How often do I need to replace the equipment in my tank?

You should be changing bulbs every 6 months, to ensure they produce an adequate amount of light. 

Even if they are not burnt out, you still should be changing them. 

Depending on the type of substrate you end up using, you likely will need to change it out daily.

If you use my top pick, MCLANZOO reptile carpet, you will want to clean it every day. 

Any other type of substrate, like moss, will need to be cleaned daily of any soiled part. 

Every two months, you should completely replace all the moss inside the tank. 

Finally, replace your UVB lighting every 10-12 months. 

The UV output declines over time. 

What’s the difference between terrariums, vivariums, and tanks? 

It becomes confusing when you see various enclosures labeled terrariums, vivariums, or tanks. 

Even I use the terms interchangeably sometimes. 

But is there a difference between the three?

Simply put, a terrarium is designed to raise plants, and vivariums are primarily built to house animals. 

A tank is typically what you see for fish or other aquatic life. 

While you are able to use a regular glass terrarium to house your lizard, keep in mind they don’t hold in heat as well as other options. 

However, there are terrariums on the market now, including my number one must-have, providing a high-quality living environment for reptiles. 

Do bearded dragons need a special enclosure?

Perhaps, you found an old fish aquarium at a yard sale and want to know if it’s usable instead of dropping a couple of hundred bucks on a brand new vivarium. 

Technically using an aquarium for your bearded dragon is fine, but with special guidelines. 

First, you need to make sure it is sturdy and completely made of glass. 

Otherwise, it will not be durable enough for your pet lizard. 

Second, the enclosure lid on top of the aquarium will not work.

You will need to have your UV lamp attached to the lid. 

Third, make sure you thoroughly clean and sanitize the aquarium. 

If you bought the tank second hand, you don’t necessarily know what was in it and the cleanliness state it was in before you took it home. 

Finally, you want to make sure it is big enough. 

30 gallons is the smallest size you should go with, but this will only fit a baby. 

As they grow, the size of their enclosure must grow. 

This is why I recommend buying an enclosure with the ability to be used for the lifetime of your pet, like the Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium

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