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Learn everything you need to know


This book is packed with easy-to-understand information on selecting and setting up a habitat, feeding, breeding, and all other aspects of proper leopard gecko care.

Best Leopard Gecko Starter Kit

Are you a new leopard gecko owner feeling overwhelmed by all you need to get?

Do you want to buy a single product to take care of most of your habitat needs?

We don’t blame you. It seems like a lot to take care of these little reptiles.

Fortunately, there are quite a few starter kits out there for you to buy and make your life easier.

Still, there are more out there, and you may not know where to start.

This is why we made this guide to the best leopard gecko starter kit.

A good starter kit needs to include the habitat, light, heat, and information on how to care for your leopard gecko. Our picks for the best leopard gecko starter kits include:

Check out the rest of the post for our buyer’s guide and review of each product.

What To Look For In A Leopard Gecko Starter Kit

What is a leopard gecko starter kit, and what does it include?

Honestly, it depends on the product itself.

In this section, we’ll go over some of the items which may be included in starter kits.


A tank is a must in any starter kit. Some starter kits just include the tank.

Tanks for leopard geckos are usually made of glass sides.

They need to be at least 10 gallons in size, though 20 gallons is even better.

Tanks should be longer than they are tall.

Leopard geckos aren’t climbing reptiles and prefer to spend time near the ground.

Heat Light

Heat lights aren’t a strict necessity for leopard geckos if the heating mat (the recommended tool) can get the heat up, but it’s needed and recommended for most cases.

Heating lights will regulate the air and provide a warm and cool side for the tank.

This is good for the cold-blooded reptiles as it lets them travel to one side or the other to allow for body temperature regulation.

UVB Light

Some starters will include a UVB light.

UVB lights aren’t needed for the nocturnal reptiles, but some owners like to add them.

If you decide to include safe live plants in the tank, you’ll need a UVB light to keep them alive.

Live plants are usually good to include as they clean the air and help keep the pet’s lungs healthy.


Furniture is a must in any leopard gecko habitat, but not every starter kit will include it.

For leopard geckos, the biggest item they need is a hiding spot of some sort.

This is usually done with some kind of cave, log, or box.

Other than this, you may want to include:

  • Sticks for laying on
  • Small rocks
  • Live plants
  • Small logs

Water Dish

A water dish is another vital piece of habitat, but not all starter kits will use them.

Water dishes should have low sides to allow the gecko to climb in and out of.

It also needs to have clean water in it no higher than the shoulders on the leopard gecko.

You don’t need anything fancy for this; a simple plastic dish will do.


Some starter kits include guides on how to care for leopard geckos.

These are nice to include for true beginners.

If this is you, look for a starter kit with a guide and more items included.

This will take away the burden of learning what to do and make you more likely to become an enthusiastic pet owner.


Thermometers are typical inclusions in any leopard gecko starter kit.

They usually aren’t very advanced, but you don’t need anything fancy for most of the tank.

Remember, your goal is to hit 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C) on the ground and go no lower than 72° degrees Fahrenheit (22° C) in the air.

Keep the heat and light on for 12 hours and then turn it off for 12 hours.

You may also wish to purchase a portable infrared thermometer.

This will allow you to check the different spots and make sure you’re hitting your temp marks.


The substrate or liner is the bottom part of the tank.

Some owners will go purely simple and use newspapers.

This is cheap, but it requires a lot of replacing every time the reptiles defecate.

Some better ones include:

  • Reptile carpet or liner
  • Pea gravel
  • Coconut fiber
  • Peat moss

Review Of The Best Leopard Gecko Starter Kit

best leopard gecko starter kit

This section covers each of our picks for the products.

We’ll go over the features for each one and discuss how they directly affect your use of the starter kits.

Each one is of high quality, but good for different situations.

Use what you think you need and our recommendations to make a decision.

Zilla Reptile Starter Kit 10 with Light and Heat

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
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This Zilla reptile starter kit isn’t just for leopard geckos, but it checks all the essential elements you’ll need.

First, the tank is a 10-gallon one with glass sides and a screen top.

The screen top lets more air circulate.

It also enables some heat to escape more quickly, so a heat light will be a total necessity.

Fortunately, this kit comes with two light fixtures.

You’ll have to buy the bulbs on your own, but the fixtures are 5.5″ inch reflector domes equipped to handle heating lights.

Many owners will use one for heat and one for UVB.

Some others will use a heating light for day and a blue colored one at night so that they can see their nocturnal pet.

It’s up to you.

Also included is a simple thermometer to get an idea of the general temperature of your tank.

You may also want another infrared one to gauge different spots in the tank or another simple one near the ground.

You’ll also get some basic, but nice-looking furniture including:

  • Hide
  • Water dish
  • Fake plant
  • Simple substrate liner

This kit covers most of what you need in a simple but effective way.

Pros For This Product:

  • Good tank at the basic size
  • Included light fixtures are effective
  • All needed furniture for leopard gecko

Cons For This Product:

  • No care guide
  • Higher price

Zilla 10-Gallon Basic Desert Kit

Zilla 01312 10-Gallon Basic Desert Kit, 10-Inch by 20-Inch by 12-Inch
  • Ideal starter kit for juvenile desert animals
  • Easy for beginner hobbyists
  • Two reflective dome light fixtures
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This Zilla desert kit is the same as above without the furniture.

This lowers the price somewhat.

For those who want their own furniture or already have some, this may be the option for you.

The tank is the same 10-gallon, screen-top, glass-sides one perfect for leopard geckos.

Two lights are included to use, as is the simple thermometer for reading the general temp of the tank’s air.

A reptile liner is included as well.

This is nothing special, but it’ll get the job done much better than newspapers and is cleanable and reusable.

This kit also includes a general but straightforward care guide for desert reptiles.

Pros For This Product:

  • Medium price
  • Great tank for leopard gecko
  • Includes basic items such as lights, liner, thermometer/humidity gauge

Cons For This Product:

  • No furniture included

Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Kit

Hagen Exo Terra Short All Glass Terrarium, 24 by 18 by 12-Inch
  • Front window ventilation
  • Dual doors for an escape-free access
  • Waterproof bottom
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This Exo Terra terrarium kit doesn’t include too much specifically for leopard geckos, but it’s a comprehensive habitat of premium quality.

As such, it costs a little more.

The quality of the tank may surprise you.

This is for those simply looking for a habitat kit and wants to gather the rest themselves.

The 22-gallon tank has many nice features, including two front opening doors for easier access.

It also has a raised bottom layer for easy use with the heating pad you’ll need.

The mesh top allows some air through for circulation, but not so much it’s hard to keep the heat in.

It also has spots for light and other wiring to go through—no more zip tying all the cords together.

Use the premade inlets.

This one includes a desert background to limit the sounds and sights from one side of the tank.

This will lower the leopard gecko’s stress level.

Pros For This Product:

  • High-quality habitat
  • Front access doors
  • Raised bottom for heating mat
  • Closed inlets for cables

Cons For This Product:

  • High price
  • No other extras

Zoo Med Creatures Creature Den Low Profile Starter Kit

Zoo Med Creatures Creature Den Low Profile Starter Kit - 6 gal, Assorted
  • A fully loaded, turnkey glass terrarium that is the perfect size for many ground dwelling Tarantulas, insects and other small invertebrates. With a smaller size and structure, this is a great tank for beginners or for those with space restrictions.
  • Age range description: All Life Stages
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12/07/2022 09:09 pm GMT

This Zoo Med starter kit for reptiles is a more affordable option, which surprisingly includes most of what you’ll need.

The glass-sided tank is only 6 gallons, so this won’t work for adult leopard geckos as well.

However, included with this kit is a thermometer, rock for climbing on, water dish, and soil substrate.

These will be enough to get you started with young leopard geckos, and then they can grow into their bigger tank.

Pros For This Product:

  • Lower price
  • Some furniture included
  • Quality construction

Cons For This Product:

  • Too small for adult leopard geckos

Exo Terra Leopard Gecko Starter Kit (10 Gallon)

Exo Terra Leopard Gecko Starter Kit, 15 GAL
  • Includes all necessary care products to get started
  • 10 gallon tank
  • Perfect for your Leopard Gecko
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For those who want an all-inclusive, beginner-friendly kit, this Exo Terra option is the one.

For a medium-high price, you’ll get almost everything you need to start right away in a single purchase.

Plus, it’s all designed specifically for leopard geckos.

The 10-gallon tank has glass sides and is excellent for adult leopard geckos (even young ones).

It comes with a low-heat light, which heats the air slightly.

This is fine because they include a quality heating mat, which is the recommended primary way of heating the leopard gecko’s tank.

A simple thermometer does the job of measuring the temp, and they include a nice sand mat for reptile liner/substrate as well.

There’s a hide rock to give the gecko some shelter and keep it calm.

Best of all, there’s a comprehensive leopard gecko guide for habitat care made for this reptile specifically.

Pros For This Product:

  • Great tank
  • Everything else you need for a habitat is there
  • Great value

Cons For This Product:

  • Heating mat alone doesn’t produce enough heat, and the light doesn’t add enough to reach the correct temperature

Commonly Asked Questions

Is a 10-gallon tank enough for a leopard gecko? – Yes, 10-gallon tanks are the recommended minimum size for the leopard gecko.

The tank should also be wider than tall for a leopard gecko.

The best tank size is 20 gallons.

What do leopard geckos need in their tank? – As we mentioned above, a tank isn’t enough by itself.

You’ll also need a heating mat, heating light, substrate, furniture including a hide, and a water dish. 

Heating mats or pads and water dishes aren’t included and usually need to be purchased separately.

Fortunately, these are pretty affordable.

Moist hides aren’t required, but they do a lot for the gecko.

Learn how to make a moist hide.

What kind of lighting do leopard geckos need? –  Leopard geckos need some sort of light to help them realize when it’s day and night.

This doesn’t need to be UVB lighting.

They don’t even need a heating light if the heating mat heats the whole tank to 90° degrees Fahrenheit (32° C) on the ground and 72° degrees Fahrenheit (22° C) at the coolest in the air.

Most of the time, a heating mat won’t be able to do this, so most owners use some kind of simple heating light.

For more details, check out our review of the best light for leopard geckos.

Do geckos like to be petted? – Yes and no.

Yes, they will seem to enjoy being pet after they’ve been tamed.

Learn more about taming leopard geckos.

Even after taming, they don’t enjoy being pet for an extended period.

Leopard geckos are generally skittish creatures and will get stressed with too much interaction.

They may even drop their tails!

Don’t pet them if they seem stressed by it or for longer than 10 minutes.

Do leopard geckos bond with their owners? – Yes, they do!

It’s not so much a bond of friendship but a positive relationship with the food source and entertainment source.

This is all part of taming a leopard gecko.

Over gradual time getting used to you, your pet will grow to enjoy your presence most of the time.

There will always be times they want you just to go away (such as when in the middle of shedding).

Take your cues from the little lizard.


Now you know where to start when looking for the best leopard gecko starter kit.

Any of these will be just fine for almost any situation.

It’s up to you on how much you want to pay and put together yourself.

The more expensive options usually also include everything you need for a suitable habitat setup.

Don’t feel overwhelmed; get help, and enjoy these cute pets.

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