Selecting the right substrate is very important if you want your bearded dragon to enjoy a long and happy life. Unlike arboreal lizards, who spend much of their time in the trees, a bearded dragon tends to spend most of its life on the ground.
Some people say that you can just throw down some sand and call it a day, but we think a responsible pet owner should make an effort to find the best bedding for bearded dragons in their care. In this article, we will look at some of the best bedding for bearded dragons so that you can learn how to choose the best.
8. Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding
This bedding is made from cypress shavings, and it has a pleasant look and smell when added to a tank. The softness will give your lizard some comfort while the absorbent properties of this bedding will help to keep things a little bit moist.
The bearded dragon, being a desert creature, doesn’t need a whole lot of humidity, but it’s still good to be able to control this factor.
- Retains moisture for better humidity
- Looks very nice
- All-natural cypress mulch
- Might not be good for a desert animal
7. Tfwadmx Reptile Carpet
Reptile carpet is the “easy mode” solution when choosing reptile bedding. You can easily cut it to fit any enclosure, and it can be doubled up if desired. Its low cost makes an extra layer no problem at all.
Best of all, a reptile carpet is easy to clean. When it gets soiled, you just take it out of the cage, spray it off, and throw it into the washing machine. It doesn’t allow your lizard to dig, but that is its only failing.
- Easy to clean
- Easy to install
- Provides a soft resting place
- Doesn’t allow your bearded dragon to dig
6. Reptile Sciences Pro Calcium Sand
This sand looks a lot like the sand that you might find at the beach, except for one thing: It’s mostly made of calcium carbonate. This is great because bearded dragons need a calcium supplement. In the wild, they get a lot of calcium by ingesting the bones of various small animals that they kill.
However, there is such a thing as too much calcium. Too much of it can lead to constipation and even bowel impaction.
- Built-in calcium supplement
- Mimics a desert environment
- Allows for plenty of digging
- Could cause calcium impaction
5. Zilla Reptile Bedding Liner
This is another type of reptile carpet, but this one is more like a shag carpet. The surface is much rougher, which is cool for those lizards who want something to scratch.
However, those little fibers will tend to get caught, causing your lizard to pull up the carpet and make a mess. Still, it’s easy to clean and is meant to reduce that reptilian stink.
- Gives the lizard something to scratch and claw
- Easy to clean
- Treated with enzymed to reduce stink
- Will get caught on your lizard’s claws
4. Critters Comfort Fine Grade Reptile Bedding
This is one of those bedding materials that is made from coconut fiber, and it is one of the best on the market. Coconut bedding is usually used for tropical animals, so it may not be the best bedding for bearded dragons. Still, it’s an option that you might want to consider.
This material resists odors and has a natural tendency to wick and evaporate moisture, keeping the cage from becoming too humid.
- Resistant to odors
- Absorbs and controls moisture
- Turns to mud when it gets old
3. Fluker Labs Repta-Bark
This is another coconut bark substrate, and it’s a lot like the other one. However, this one is even cheaper and offers all of the same advantages. It wicks moisture, it naturally fights odors, and it provides a soft and comfortable surface.
We like the larger chips in which this product comes. Larger pieces are less likely to be eaten or dragged into the water bowl.
- Quite cheap
- Large particles for cleaner cage
- Naturally fights odors
- Prone to molding in high humidity
2. Zoo Med Eco Earth
This is yet another coconut substrate, and we can see how popular this stuff has become. Eco-earth is one of the original coconut bedding products, so they definitely have the experience to get it right. It’s all-natural with no weird additives and has all the great qualities of other coconut bedding.
However, we should also mention that all coconut bedding is more prone to growing mold and mildew if it is left damp for too long. Thus, it isn’t always the best bedding for bearded dragons.
- Completely natural product
- Fights excrement odors by absorbing them
- Good for creating microclimates
- Might get moldy in humid weather
1. Zilla Desert Blend
This product is a mock sand made from walnut shells. It feels and acts much like normal sand, and allows the lizard to dig and play in it happily.
However, this stuff does absorb moisture and rot, meaning that it will never last as long as real sand. It would be some of the best bedding for bearded dragons if it weren’t for that one problem.
- Mimics the desert environment
- Conducts heat better than sand
- Allows for easy digging
- Won’t last as long as real sand
After reading the above, you can clearly see that it isn’t so easy to choose the best bedding for bearded dragons. Whatever you choose, you should pay attention to your lizard and note how they react to their new bedding.
If they seem to be avoiding it, you might need to try something else. We hope that we have made this process easier and that you and your lizard will become good friends.