Best Leopard Gecko Habitat

Are you looking for a way to give your leopard gecko a good home?

Do you get confused with all the tanks out there for reptiles?

For most pets, but especially reptiles, the correct habitat and tank are essential for a long and healthy life.

Leopard geckos are no different, but it’s tricky to sort through the hundreds of tanks to find the best one for this specific species.

We’re here to help!

We did the research and created this guide on the best leopard gecko habitat.

The best leopard gecko setups need a tank that is between 10-20 gallons in size, longer than it is tall. Glass sides work best for retaining heat and humidity. Our picks for the best leopard gecko habitats are:

Check out the rest of the article for information on what a good tank includes, a brief guide on the whole leopard gecko setup, reviews of the products, and answers to commonly asked questions.

What To Look For In The Best Leopard Gecko Tank

This section covers the important elements of a good leopard gecko habitat.

Use this information to help you decide what you’re looking for in a product.

Material

Most reptile tanks, for those smaller than iguanas and boa constrictors, are made of either clear plastic or glass.

Clear plastic is quite durable and handles the heat from heating mats better than glass.

It also costs a lot less typically.

On the other hand, when under high heat, plastic may warp.

Plastic also doesn’t do as nice of a job retaining heat and humidity when compared to glass.

For these reasons, glass is considered by many experts to be the best tank material.

Its main drawback is the potential for cracking if the heating mat is set too high and comes in direct contact with the glass.

Size

Leopard geckos aren’t large reptiles, but neither are they small.

Leopard geckos do like to move around but spend much of their time hiding, so they don’t need a ton of space.

In general, 10 gallons is considered the minimum size for an adult leopard gecko.

Twenty gallons is still good and might be better for the larger pets.

The tank shouldn’t go far above 20 gallons in size.

Keep in mind; the leopard gecko isn’t a climbing reptile.

They spend much of their life on the ground and hiding under ground-level rocks and branches.

Due to this, the tank needs to be wider than tall.

This is different from climbers like the chameleon, who may enjoy the same size tank, but it needs to be taller than wide.

Access

One of the many user-features for tanks revolving around owner friendliness is how the tank allows access to the inside.

Simple tanks include a screen, mesh, or closed top.

This opens up to allow you to reach in.

Nicer tanks use front opening doors with secure locks to prevent escape.

With these doors, you just reach right in at level.

This also makes cleaning much easier.

In general, the fancier doors mean more parts and more construction time.

As a result, they usually cost more.

Door type doesn’t affect the leopard gecko’s health, but it does affect how easy it is for you, the owner, to use.

Price

Hopefully, you’ll only ever have to buy one tank in the lifetime of your leopard gecko.

This is good because habitats can get up there in price.

The price range is pretty wide with simple and less durable tanks costing much less than sturdy and user-friendly ones.

It’s up to you how much you’re willing to pay.

Durability

Along the same lines as previously stated…

If you buy a cheaper tank, you may end up with one with low durability.

It breaks or warps easily.

Now the money you’ve saved by buying a cheaper option is gone because you had to buy a new one.

All tank makers, no matter the price, will say their product lasts a long time.

This isn’t always true.

We did the work and checked with users combined with our own experience to get a better idea of its practical life span.

Cord Access

Cord access doesn’t affect the health of the gecko in the habitat, but it will make it much easier to use.

As a premium feature, some habitats will have access ports for hiding cords or easily installing heating lights or other systems.

This is purely up to the owner and not a big deal one way or the other.

What Do You Need For A Leopard Gecko Habitat: Brief Guide

The tank is one of the essential parts of a proper gecko setup, but it’s certainly not the only thing.

This section covers what other elements you need to have the correct all-around home for your pet.

Heating Mat

The correct temperature is critical for the leopard gecko.

Unlike most reptiles, the leopard gecko needs its heat from the ground up.

The ground should be around 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C), while the air ranges down to 72° degrees Fahrenheit (22° C).

To get this done, the first heating element needed is a heating mat.

Place this on one side of the tank (NOT touching the glass directly).

Leave it on to get the air up to 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C) during the day.

After 12 hours on, turn it off for the other 12 hours to simulate a nighttime drop in the temp.

This is, ideally, the first heating line for leopard geckos.

Heating Light

If the heating mat isn’t enough and probably won’t be, many owners also use a low Watt heating light to keep one spot a little hotter as a basking spot while even slightly heating the rest of the air.

Leopard geckos don’t need a basking spot, but many owners include one to give the reptile a bit more control over how it regulates its body temperatures.

Check our picks for the best heating light for leopard geckos.

Thermometer/Hygrometer

We need to keep track of and measure the temp and humidity in the tank to ensure the leopard gecko is getting what it needs.

For humidity, the leopard gecko usually needs 30-40% relative humidity.

Too high, and they tend to develop respiratory issues.

Too low, and they have more skin problems.

The only time this mark changes is during a shed.

When you see signs of shedding, raise the humidity by misting them down 3-5 times per day.

This will help the dead skin come off easier.

Hide

Leopard geckos are skittish creatures and need to hide to reduce their stress levels and rest their bodies.

In the tank, they need a hide box, or simply, a hide.

This is an enclosed space such as a rock cave or logs with coverage on top and area to fit the whole body inside.

Many owners will keep two hides:

  • One in the cooler side
  • One in the hotter side with more moist substrate

At the least, you need to include one on the cooler side with the normal substrate.

As a bonus, include the hide on the hotter side with a wetted and special substrate such as peat moss.

This one is called a moist hide.

You may also want to learn how to make a moist hide for leopard geckos.

Furniture

Other furniture in the tank just gives the leopard gecko more things to interact with.

Rocks, branches, small log parts, and other items of this type are common.

Remember, leopard geckos aren’t big climbers, so don’t pile them up, so the pet has a high place to fall.

On top of the hides, it’s good to include at least three more items.

Live plants are another option for furniture.

They provide cleaner air for the gecko.

Make sure the plants don’t give off any toxins.

You’ll need to add a UVB light to the tank if using a live plant to keep it alive.

Water Dish

Water dishes are essential for drinking, bathing or relaxing in, and keeping the humidity up.

A dish with low sides for the gecko to climb in is good.

The depth of the water should never be higher than the gecko’s shoulders.

Keep it with fresh water and watch for the gecko’s droppings in the water.

Substrate

Leopard geckos don’t need a fancy substrate, but they should have something on the bottom of the tank.

Substrate makes cleaning up easier at the basic level.

With nicer substrates, humidity and heat are also retained.

Common substrates include:

  • Newspaper
  • Reptile carpets or liners
  • Pea gravel
  • Coconut fibers
  • Clay 

Check out picks for the best substrate for leopard geckos.

Review Of The Best Leopard Gecko Habitats

best leopard gecko habitat

All of these five products will make a suitable habitat, but they may not be right for every situation.

Take a look as we go over the features of the products and show how they directly impact the tank’s use.

Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Kit

Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Kit, for...
  • Glass terrarium for reptiles or amphibians
  • Patented front window ventilation
  • Raised bottom frame in order to fit a substrate heater and has a waterproof bottom

Exo Terra is a giant in the reptile tank industry, and its natural terrarium kit is a premium option with some excellent features.

It’s made out of glass, which helps retain heat and humidity.

For size, it has the dimensions of 24″ inches x 18″ inches x 12″ inches.

This gives it a size of 22 gallons.

Its size is good for adult leopard geckos, especially large ones.

Baby and young leopard geckos may struggle with the larger size.

It includes a natural rock background that blocks the view from all sides and may help the gecko feel more secure.

It also features front-facing doors for easier access by you for cleaning, feeding, and handling.

The raised bottom allows more space for a substrate heater or heating mat, and the screen top even has closable inlets to hide cables from your lights.

This is the Cadillac of reptile tanks, and it works well for leopard geckos.

Pros For This Product:

  • Many user-friendly features
  • Lasts a long time
  • Perfect size and material for leopard geckos

Cons For This Product:

  • Higher price

REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium

REPTI ZOO Reptile Glass Terrarium Tank Double...
  • Size of RK0119 :36" x 18" x 18". Tough screen top provides ventilation and allows uvb and infrared penetration
  • 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

The Repti Zoo terrarium is another premium habitat for reptiles which works great with leopard geckos.

The durability of this tank, in particular, is excellent.

Many owners will own this for multiple pets when the first one passes away.

It’s made of glass and features a 36″ inches x 18″ inches x 18″ inches space.

This is a 50 gallon-sized tank.

Usually, this would be too large for a single leopard gecko, but if you want to keep multiple geckos in one tank, this is the one to get.

Note: Never keep two males in a tank together. They will fight.

Keeping multiple females is fine as long as they’re of similar size.

With this size tank, keep 1-4 geckos in the tank.

The front doors open for easy access.

It also includes a waterproof bottom and raised bottom level for heating mats.

One great feature of this tank is the window vents.

Propping these open allows for fresher air and gives you more control over the temperature and humidity.

There are also closable inlets for cords to keep them secure and hidden from view.

Pros For This Product:

  • Great material and design
  • Window vents for better control
  • Waterproof and raised bottom
  • Large enough for multiple pets

Cons For This Product:

  • Too large for a single pet (but it’d be OK)
  • Higher price

Zilla Reptile Starter Kit 10 with Light and Heat

Zilla Reptile Starter Kit 10 with Light and Heat,...
  • An ideal habitat for desert-dwelling animals
  • Size 10 glass terrarium with fresh air screen cover
  • Two 5.5” Reflective Dome

This starter kit by Zilla makes an excellent habitat.

It’s nothing too fancy, but you get a lot of extras with the tank for an affordable price.

It’s a 10-gallon tank made out of glass.

This is standard for leopard geckos.

Zilla uses a simple, but effective, mesh top which clips over the tank.

The big bonus with this habitat comes in the extras included with the tank.

Here’s what you get:

  • Two reflector domes for lighting
  • Water dish
  • Thermometer/Hygrometer
  • Hide cave
  • Reptile liner
  • Fake plants

For new owners, you may want to go for this option because it gives you almost everything you need right away.

Pros For This Product:

  • Good size for leopard geckos
  • Affordable price
  • Lots of extras

Cons For This Product:

  • May be smaller than you want

Exo Terra Leopard Gecko Starter Kit (10 Gallon)

Exo Terra Leopard Gecko Starter Kit (10 Gallon)
  • Reptile will feel at home
  • Comes with all necesarry items to get started

This Exo Terra starter kit habitat is the company’s answer to the previously reviewed starter kit.

For a higher, but still affordable price, they offer a little more with each bonus product and the tank.

This is a 10-gallon tank with glass sides, another home run for a simple leopard gecko tank.

There is a day and night heating bulb included with this kit.

This lets you turn the lights on for a little while at night to see the nocturnal pets when they’re the most active.

A simple but accurate thermometer/hygrometer combination is offered.

Exo Terra also brings a sandy reptile carpet to the table.

This liner is simple, but it’s tougher than most other reptile carpets.

It’s easy to clean up after your leopard gecko defecates.

You may still want to use another substantial substrate, such as pea gravel in the tank or peat moss in the moist hide.

A heating mat also comes with this tank.

Most won’t include this in the product bundle.

This heating mat isn’t large enough to heat the whole tank, but used in combination with the heating light will take care of it.

There is also a leopard gecko care guide for those who want a quick reference document for caring for their pet.

Pros For This Product:

  • Great value for all included items
  • Heating mat is a big bonus
  • Great size and material for leopard gecko

Cons For This Product:

  • May be smaller than you want

REPTI ZOO 10 Gallon Reptile Tank Glass

Sale
REPTI ZOO 10 Gallon Reptile Tank Glass Natural...
  • 360 degree view of the terrarrium landscape;
  • Full screen top with a feeding hole,which is for ventilation and allows light and UVB penetration;
  • "Lift and Pull" for opening and closing the sliding screen top;

Repti Zoo can make amazing and decked out products, but they also know how to make simple and effective ones at affordable prices.

This is where the 10-gallon tank comes in.

There’s not much to it other than its good size and glass design.

At a lower price, you lose many of the extra features, but Repti Zoo’s design helps this tank last a long time.

There is a liftable screen for easy feeding and ventilation on top.

The setup is so easy; they brag; it only takes 2 minutes to get the parts together.

Users tend to agree with how easy it is, though it may take a little longer than 2 minutes.

One extra comes with this habitat for leopard geckos in the form of a clear PVC tray for holding the water and some substrate on the bottom.

This is a big help for avoiding issues with cracking of glass, water damage, and sticking mold from an old substrate.

Pros For This Product:

  • Affordable price
  • Durable tank with PVC tray
  • Good 10-gallon size for leopard geckos

Cons For This Product:

  • No extra user features

Commonly Asked Questions

Should I spray my leopard gecko with water? – Typically, no.

It may not hurt too much (though higher humidity increases the risk of respiratory issues), but they usually like a drier tank.

The exception is during a shed when you should spray them down 3-5 times per day.

This helps avoid stuck and constricting dead skin.

Do leopard geckos need baths? – No.

You may bathe the leopard gecko if you wish, but it isn’t needed.

Fill warm water (no soap) in a small container no higher than the leopard gecko’s shoulders.

Let him soak, don’t scrub.

After 10-15 minutes, remove from the water, dry the gecko off, and place under the heating light.

Do leopard geckos die easily? – As with most pets, they won’t die if cared for well.

This being said, leopard geckos don’t tend to have significant health issues like more fragile reptiles do.

The big thing to watch for is high stress and shedding issues.

These are most likely to plague the pet.

As always, watch for signs of illness for greater disease and take your pet to the vet:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lack of movement
  • Gaping mouth
  • Foam or liquid from mouth or eyes
  • Changes in feces
  • Visible injuries or wounds
  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Wrinkled skin
  • Difficulty breathing

Can I put live plants in with my leopard gecko? – Yes!

The live plants increase clean air in the tank, which improves health, especially with breathing.

The plants need to survive in a dry environment and give off no toxins.

Good ones include:

  • Aloe
  • Ox Tongue
  • Snake plants

If you use a live plant, you’ll need to add a UVB light to keep the plants alive.

Conclusion

Now you know where to start looking for the best leopard gecko habitat.

There are many options out there, hitting all the critical elements, but the five picked above are our favorites.

Pick one for your pet and enjoy the oddly cute friend you’ve made.