Should You Start With a Bearded Dragon Habitat Kit?

bearded dragon stacked upThere are quite a few bearded dragon habitat kits available both online and at most pet stores. The kits usually have the option of a 20 gallon long for a baby bearded dragon and a 40 gallon breeder for an adult with all of the necessary supplies to get up and running.

The only issue is… they just aren’t that good!

What I mean by this is that with these kits, you will eventually end out replacing a lot of the items. Those costs add up and most of the time it’s more cost effective to buy the items separately. I learned this from experience 🙂

While a kit is convenient and there are times that they go on sale for a nice deal,  you need to know that there are a few components that you will have to switch out sooner than later

The UVB bulb it comes with is OK for a 10-20 gallon enclosure, but you would want a tube light for better coverage in a 40 gallon breeder size. For the ones that come with a mercury vapor bulb, the bulb is definitely not quality.

They usually come with Reptisand (I have seen some come with carpet) and that isn’t the best substrate choice, especially for young bearded dragons. You would need to get something like reptile carpet or tiles.

The temperature and humidity gauges are sometimes wildly inaccurate. No lie, they’re cheap. You’re still going to want a heat gun to test basking platform and the temperature gradient of the tank.

The tank, lid and the bulb domes are really the only items worth keeping in these kits. That’s it!

If you have to have one (again, it is usually cheaper to buy the products separately), check below for the most common ones you can find and what they come with.

Zoo Med ReptiHabitat Bearded Dragon Kit – 40 Gallon

bearded dragon habitat kit zoomed

This kit is commonly found in local pet stores and chain stores like PetSmart and usually goes for around $200, although found on sale for $165 at times. The 40 gallon breeder size (36x18x18 inch) is great for a growing bearded dragon and they will be able to use the cage for years if not for life.

The supplies this kit comes with are:

  • Large food and water dishes
  • Thermometer/Humidity gauge
  • 100 watt basking bulb
  • ReptiSun 10.0 fluorescent UVB bulb
  • Dual deep dome lamp fixture
  • 12 pounds of ReptiSand substrate
  • Care booklet and food sampler (includes calcium supplement, water dechlorinator, different flavored fruit mix-ins and some commercial foods.

You will still need to pick up decor like grapewood or manzanita and some hides. This kit seems to be favored among new owners just getting into the hobby.

National Geographic Reptile Desert Kit

national geographic reptile desert kit

This bearded dragon habitat kit is also a 40 gallon breeder size and costs around $220. The tank opens up from the front which makes interaction and maintenance convenient.

This kit comes with:

  • 50 watt basking bulb (won’t get hot enough)
  • Desert UVB Bulb
  • Dial thermometer/hygrometer
  • Foam background (this will get shredded and end up everywhere)
  • Food and water dish
  • 2 dome lamp holders
  • Reptile carpet

Be prepared to buy a new basking bulb with a higher wattage. The dome lamp holders are nice and glad to see it comes with reptile carpet.

Exo Terra Bearded Dragon Starter Kit – Large

exo terra bearded dragon starter kit

Exo Terra also offers a front opening bearded dragon kit that has a very low profile. The dimensions of the tank are 36x18x12 inch. So, same footprint as a 40 gallon breeder but more shallow by 6 inches.

This kit also includes:

  • Lamp Dome (handles up to 160 watts)
  • Stick on terrarium thermometer
  • Medium water dish
  • Large sand mat
  • Light holder bracket
  • Solar Glo 125 watt Mercury Vapor bulb (meh)

And there you have it. Those three are the most popular bearded dragon habitat kits on the market. You should be able to view most of these in a PetSmart or Petco (or other local pet shop) to see if you like it.

Again, to provide the best bearded dragon care you may want to consider buying quality items separately. Here’s an example kit that would get you on the right path (you can also check out my setup at the bottom of this page):

Kritter Care 101 Bearded Dragon Starter Habitat Kit

As you can see, there are quite a few more items to make a complete bearded dragon habitat kit that will allow you to be successful in raising a healthy pet. Ultimately it is up to you decide how you wish to proceed.

Do you have experience with bearded dragon kits? If so, help inform other bearded dragon enthusiasts by dropping a line in the comments!

Leave a Reply