25 Best Bearded Dragon Bedding in 2020 (Buying Guide & FAQs)

Originating from sunny Australia, wild bearded dragons spend a great deal of time basking under the sun.

Therefore, it’s crucial to provide a living environment which resembles their original habitat so that these animals can enjoy their new home.

With numerous bearded dragon bedding brands out there on the market, it may be challenging to opt-out a suitable one for your beardie.

Take a quick look at our guide below, and you will know what you need.

Page Contents

Types of Bearded Dragon Bedding

There is a variety of substrate available for your little bearded dragon to consider. Take a look to find the most suitable one.

Bearded dragon sand


In the wild, bearded dragons are accustomed to running across sands and pebbles.

Though often used as a substrate, rocks and gravel is a potential source of impacting if your pet swallows a small one. Teeth and jaws are prone to damage if he grabs pebbles while chasing an insect.

However, this isn’t the case with non-silica sands.

Non-silica sands are tolerable to adult bearded dragons with little chance of impaction.

Besides, your pet won’t ingest much during meals. A safer option is calcium sands that are easy to metabolize in the body.

If you plan to adopt a young beardie, don’t risk buying sandy substrate for the sake of his safety.

Cage Liners

As small reptile carpets, cage liners look like sand or grass, offering an uncomplicated and economical choice.

They can have either soft or little bit rough texture, so touch with your hand before pinning down to a specific product.

Coming in a roll, this type of bedding allows you to cut to a suitable size. It’s also environmentally friendly since you can wash and reuse it several times.

Some pet owners are worried the claws of bearded dragons get snagged due to being stuck in the loops of the liner.

In response, the pet may pull against the snag, accidentally ripping off their claws.


With clay, you can use your creativity to build a one-of-a-kind habitat for your reptile. At the same time, he can construct his burrows and tunnels.

First, create a mixture of clay substrate and water and mold it to your desired shape.

When the bedding sets, it’s time for the pet to explore and build tunnels.

To make the claymore vivid and lively, you can add accessories like faux plants when it’s still wet.

The clay substrate, once dry, will last a long time with its shape remaining unchanged.

Meanwhile, there is no need to worry about your little friend eating the bedding since it hardens so wholly.


It’s possible to use ceramic tile to line the bottom of the beardie’s habitat.

The tile promises to bring about a beautiful look for the terrarium while minimizing the likelihood of impaction.

Such material is durable but asks for regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure its hygiene.

You’d better wipe the tile thoroughly periodically. It may be difficult to replace it, but it’s worth your investment and attention.


Another cost-effective choice is using paper as bearded dragon bedding.

Though unattractive in the appearance, this way is likely to cast away the fear of impaction.

The substrate made from washed and shredded recycled newspaper is on sale at several pet stores. It’s high in quality and safe for pet use.

Compared to other types of bedding, newspaper asks for frequent changes to ensure no moisture and annoying odor.

Wet one will make the living environment of the bearded dragon more humid.

Paving Stone

Besides paving outdoor surfaces like a walkway, large stones and rocks can cover the tank of bearded dragons with a stylish look.

Go for large stones that your beardie can rest and bask.

Paving stones can retain heat so that they will keep the tank’s temperature in an acceptable range.

Bark and Mulch

Some people go for bark and mulch when building their pets’ private corner.

They can be considered as one of the bearded dragons’ substrate materials.

However, specialists don’t recommend them given their possible retention of humidity, increasing the humidity levels beyond the desired.

Customer Picks: 5 Top-Rated Best Bearded Dragon Bedding Reviews

Zilla Reptile Pet Terrarium Floor Liners Brown 30BR/40BR/50/65 Gallon, 17.25" x 35.25"
Zilla 11763 Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend, 25-Quart Bag,Black
Zoo Med 26080 Repti Cage Carpet (1 Pack), 18" x 36", Colors may vary
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, 10-Pound, Natural Sedona
Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate, 10 Pounds
Zilla Reptile Pet Terrarium Floor Liners Brown 30BR/40BR/50/65 Gallon, 17.25" x 35.25"
Zilla 11763 Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend, 25-Quart Bag,Black
Zoo Med 26080 Repti Cage Carpet (1 Pack), 18" x 36", Colors may vary
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, 10-Pound, Natural Sedona
Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate, 10 Pounds
Zilla Reptile Pet Terrarium Floor Liners Brown 30BR/40BR/50/65 Gallon, 17.25" x 35.25"
Zilla Reptile Pet Terrarium Floor Liners Brown 30BR/40BR/50/65 Gallon, 17.25" x 35.25"
Zilla 11763 Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend, 25-Quart Bag,Black
Zilla 11763 Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend, 25-Quart Bag,Black
Zoo Med 26080 Repti Cage Carpet (1 Pack), 18" x 36", Colors may vary
Zoo Med 26080 Repti Cage Carpet (1 Pack), 18" x 36", Colors may vary
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, 10-Pound, Natural Sedona
Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, 10-Pound, Natural Sedona
Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate, 10 Pounds
Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate, 10 Pounds

Top 25 Best Bearded Dragon Bedding Reviews in 2020

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Liner

The form of a roll makes this cage liner from Zilla a cost-efficient choice.

The non-abrasive material won’t hurt your pet’s feet. An enzyme is available to treat lingering reptile smells, putting any bearded dragon at their greatest ease.

Moreover, the bedding is reusable for multiple times with just a thorough rinse in cold water.

4,808 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • Inedible, thereby safe for juvenile bearded dragons
  • Available in diverse sizes
  • Requires low maintenance
  • Odor treatment integrated.

Zilla Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend

Made from all-natural ground walnut shells, this Zilla blend promises to bring about a realistic desert environment for your little reptile.

The Zilla’s bearded dragon bedding resembles his wild habitat, encouraging his habit of digging and burrowing.

Compared to actual sand, such material is unable to scratch the tank of your pet, ensuring the highest durability.


Product Benefits

  • 100% natural, so the sand is fit for composting instead of disposal
  • Excellent heat conductor
  • Various sizes of package.

Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate 10 pounds

To recreate the digging and tunneling experience for bearded dragons right under your roof, Zoo Med made this substrate of clay to retain its sturdiness.

Your pet will enjoy building multi-level burrows like the old days in their natural habitat.

Before putting in the tank, you need to mix it with water, but it will soon set and become inedible to the beardie.

1,175 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • 100% natural ingredients
  • No chemicals, colors, and dyes included
  • Durable and steady
  • Various sizes on sale.

Zoo Med ReptiSand-Desert White

Made of fine quartz sand, the ReptiSand substrate won’t create any dust, thereby safe for adult bearded dragons even if they eat the sand. The product is an excellent heat conductor.

With a color of light desert white, it shares much in common with the reptile’s natural environment.

You can clean and reuse the bedding, which is economical in the long run.

No wonder why it ranks among the best bedding for bearded dragons.

138 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • All-natural ingredients used with 100% pure sand
  • Reusable for multiple times
  • Encourages natural burrowing instincts
  • Great for desert reptiles.

National Geographic Deluxe Reptile Terrarium Substrate Synthetic

Coming in a roll, the Deluxe Reptile Terrarium Substrate has a texture similar to short, artificial grass.

The brown color even enhances the natural look of the bedding.

You can cut to the desired size, which minimizes the possibility of waste.

Also, there’s no need to worry about your pet gulping down the wrong thing since the construction is inedible.

No products found.

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Liner-55 Gallon

Are you looking for longer bedding for your little reptile? This Zilla liner to fit a 55-gallon tank won’t let you down.

The product Product Benefits a broader dimension to meet a bigger-sized enclosure.

Made from the inedible, absorbent, and nonabrasive materials, it is a safe choice for young dragons while no irritating their sensitive feet.

235 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • Ideal for juvenile reptiles
  • Treated to reduce odors
  • Easy to clean with cold tap water.

Zoo Med Juvenile Bearded Dragon Carpet Substrate

Here is another safe option to cover the bottom of your pet’s enclosure.

The carpet substrate offered by Zoo Med is both pet-friendly and owner-friendly, mimicking grass or deserts.

Your beardie will feel a sense of familiarity with this no-fuss bedding.

3 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • Absorbent
  • Easy to place and clean
  • Safe and hygienic material.

Zoo Med Eco Carpet for 40 Gallon Tanks

This Zoo Med’s cost-effective bedding is a right fit for tank enclosures of 40 gallons.

The material facilitates frequent cleaning, thereby getting rid of the worry your pet accidentally poops on the substrate.

Designed to be inedible, the construction is safe for reptiles’ use.

958 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • A green product made from completely post-consumer recycled plastic bottles
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Keep the risk of accidental ingestion minimal.

40-Gallon Exo Terra Sand Mat

Measuring 35.5″ x 17.5″, this sand mat of Exo Terra will perfectly match a 40-gallon tank enclosure.

Its material is safe for your docile pet and causes no difficulties in maintenance.

Now, the building of a desert-like environment with minimum bacteria is nothing impossible.


Product Benefits

  • Provides a firm grip thanks to the unique texture
  • Offers a natural desert look
  • Safe and hygienic material
  • Easy to place, clean, and remove.

National Geographic Deluxe Large Reptile Terrarium Liner

Designed to create the most realistic feeling, the deluxe reptile terrarium liner resembles short artificial grass with lively color.

It’s inedible so your pet won’t consider it tummy-friendly.

Maintenance is a piece of cake. You have to squirt water straight to it, brush lightly and hang it to dry.

No products found.

SPORER Reptiles Carpet Terrarium Liner

If your little friend isn’t comfortable with sand or fiber substrate, this carpet liner will make an ideal alternative.

It has one hard and one soft side, aiming to protect the stomach and feet of sleepers.

The look of a green lawn with the slightly uneven ground like small hills is sure to catch the attention of any reptile.

Bearded dragons are no exception.

21 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • Durable
  • No fiber included
  • Has a closer color to nature
  • Can be cut into the suitable size for specific cage bottoms.

Zoo Med 26080 Repti Cage Carpet

Zoo Med designed the 26080 reptile cage carpet to serve the need of snakes, tortoises, insects, and lizards.

Measuring 18 inches wide and 36 inches long, this bedding is ideal for a 40-gallon breeder.

Besides, there are two colors to choose from, including green and brown.

259 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • Uses a soft, absorbent, and non-abrasive material
  • Washable and easy to clean
  • No accidental ingestion reported.

Zilla Alfalfa Meal Reptile Bedding

Understanding the craving of carnivorous reptiles for safe bedding, Zilla introduces this premium Alfalfa substrate with 1 to 2-inch depth.

Therefore, it’s easy to remove or replace the bedding once needed.

Its biodegradable composition will make a significant contribution to any compost.

136 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • Ultra-absorbent
  • 100% natural
  • Easily digestible
  • Cuts down on germs and bacteria to a great extent
  • Suitable for junior bearded dragons.

Emours Moisturizing Reptile Carpet Fiber Large Pet Mat

As high-density tech fiber, this carpet fiber from Emours offers a great solution to enhance the clean look of your aquarium tank or pet cage.

It boasts an excellent ability to absorb water and retain humidity, serving as a flame retardant and thermal insulation.

Besides bearded dragons, the product is also suitable for various species of snakes, turtles, insects, and lizards.

35 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • All non-toxic material
  • Protects bearded dragons from scrape, wet, and dirt
  • Washable and reusable
  • Great water absorption.

Zoo Med ReptiFresh Odor Eliminating Substrate

Your lovely companion will love this mineral substrate of Zoo Med. It is designed to absorb odors to keep the terrarium always fresh and clean.

You can use the product for one year before buying another, saving you from the bother of frequent replacement.

It’s also possible to combine this ReptiFresh with ReptiSand, VitaSand, or Exvacotor substrate from the same manufacturer to double the odor-eliminating effect.

Product Benefits

  • All-natural green ingredients.
  • Designed to absorb odors.
  • No dyes or chemicals added.
  • Stimulates natural burrowing and digging behavior.

Hamiledyi Reptile Carpet Natural Coconut Fiber Carpet Pet Mat

Made of 100% natural coconut fiber, this Hamiledyi’s bearded dragon bedding looks not only good but also is healthy for your reptile.

You don’t have to search anywhere else for an organic solution.

The product has undergone treatment with a biodegradable enzyme to get rid of animals’ odors.

Use is simple. You need to roll out and cut the plush carpet to the desired size.

2,057 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • Absorbent and non-abrasive material
  • Gentle on reptiles’ body
  • Can hold heat
  • Easy to clean with cold water.

Tfwadmx 16”X8” Coconut Fiber Mat Reptiles Carpet

Another organic option for your little reptile is the Tfwadmx coconut fiber mat carpet.

Made from high-density tech fiber, the product is easy to use and environmentally friendly.

It creates a clean condition for your pet to enjoy a healthy life.

If he stays in the water for a long time, he can sleep well on the mat without fear of ascites.

Product Benefits

  • Non-toxic, harmless material
  • Washable and reusable
  • Good air permeability and anti-parasite.

PIVBY Natural Coco Coir Mat Coconut Fiber Reptile Carpet

If your docile friend loves lying on coconut fiber carpets, this product of PIVBY can be used for a change.

Looking good and healthy at the same time, the rug is sure to bring about a more natural home for reptiles.

The absorbent material won’t harm your pet, so it’s completely safe.


Product Benefits

  • Breathable and non-abrasive material
  • Can be cut into different sizes
  • Odor reduction included.

Zoo Med Vita-Sand in Gobi Gold

This Zoo Med Vita-sand substrate uses ultra-fine ingredients to reduce impaction from over-consumption to the minimum.

No fat-soluble vitamins are available, which is toxic in large doses.

The product is entirely pet-friendly with no additives or dyes, so it’s worth your investment.


Product Benefits

  • Premium ingredients
  • Increases calcium delivery in reptiles
  • Fortified with beta carotene and vitamins for enhanced health benefits.

Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand

Made from 100% digestible calcium carbonate, this terrarium sand from Reptile Sciences will make your beardie feel like at his natural habitat while preventing internal and external abrasions.

Thanks to the natural odor neutralizer, the substrate acts as a pollution filter to maintain a healthy environment for bearded dragons and many other reptiles.

447 Reviews

Product Benefits

  • 100% all-natural orbicular grains
  • Free of silica and phosphate
  • Lowers risk of reptile impaction.

LOVIVER Reptiles Carpet Mat Substrate Liner Bedding

With this LOVIVER carpet mat, your bearded dragon will have a fantastic habitat to live.

Many holes on the construction facilitate air circulation, keeping the temperature inside the terrarium steady.

The material is also waterproof to let moisture out and deter the growth of harmful bacteria.

No products found.

PeSandy Natural Coconut Reptile Carpet

Compared to other substrates, this PeSandy terrarium liner boasts the more exceptional ability to keep your tank tidy without harming the pet.

Featuring a bright brown color, it will bring the whole desert to your little house, perfect for picky pets.

Though the mat can dry quickly, it’s advisable that you buy two carpets to switch them out when the cleaning time is coming.

Product Benefits

  • Made of natural coconut fiber
  • Washable and easy to clean
  • Avoids the risk of impaction caused by ingesting particulate substrates
  • Fits all sorts of reptiles.

OMEM Reptile Terrarium Bedding

This OMEM natural green lawn mat offers bearded dragons an excellent place to rest.

The non-abrasive material won’t irritate the pet. It is also absorbent, odorless, and breathable.

You don’t have to invest much effort into cleaning the carpet since a simple rinse is enough.

No products found.

OMEM Reptile Terrarium Substrate Liner

Another great choice from OMEM is this particular natural coconut substrate.

It uses premium coconut soil that is extracted by fumigation without additives at high temperature. In case the dragon eats coconut fiber, it won’t block his intestines.

Thanks to the mechanism of moisturizing and ventilating, this bearded dragon bedding will create an environment of balanced humidity for your docile pet.

Product Benefits

  • High-quality ingredients
  • Encourages excavation behavior
  • Can absorb moisture, urine, and odor
  • Has strong water storage.

Balacoo Natural Coconut Fiber Mat Substrate

Ensuring air permeability and no deformation, this Balacco mat substrate made of coconut fiber won’t let you down.

It is soft on reptiles’ limbs while preventing abdominal water or skin rot if used for a long time.

No products found.

AUOON Reptile Substrate Liner

AUOON takes great pride in the strong filterability and good water permeability of this reptile substrate liner.

It has two different sides, one hard and scratchy as well as one soft and plush.

Product Benefits

  • Low-glue materials, ensuring rapid permeability
  • Less odorous
  • Easy to clean
  • Excellent customer service.

Best Bearded Dragon Bedding FAQs

Bearded Dragon Care

Is Substrate Necessary For Bearded Dragons?

Yes. Without substrate, bearded dragons will walk on their bare feet along the bottom of a glass tank, which is too harsh.

Familiar with a variety of environments, this species of reptile isn’t picky in favoring one type of substrate over others.

The substrate also helps the animal to regulate the humidity of the surrounding environment while filing down their nails.

Some models even stimulate the digging and burrowing instincts of beardies in the wild, keeping them away from boredom.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bedding?

In every case, you must try to prevent your docile friend from eating his bedding, especially rocks or sand when it comes to mealtimes.

These ingredients can build up inside his digestive system, resulting in a blockage.

This is a life-threatening medical emergency. For young and juvenile dragons, the situation is more difficult as even less material will end up in a blockage.

Bearded dragons tend to gobble down the food, so it’s best to feed them in an area free of loose substrate.

Are Ground Walnut Shells Good For Bearded Dragons?

No, they can even harm your pet. Some pet stores sell substrate made from crushed walnut shells, but you should put it in the blacklist.

Given their sharp edges, once ingested, the fragmented shells will cause damage to the internal organs of the reptile.

Is It Safe To Use Sand For Bearded Dragons?

Although the sand is commonly used as a substrate for bearded dragons, it doesn’t mean it poses no threat.

If young dragons eat some by mistake, they will experience intestinal impaction. Apart from sand, any kind of loose substrate is neither highly advisable.

Is Ceramic Tile Okay For Bearded Dragons?

Yes. Ceramic tile is good for decorating a bearded dragon enclosure.

It can create a fantastic hotspot for the pet to bask as long as it fits into the tank construction.

If necessary, don’t forget to cut the tiles to fit.

How Do You Clean a Bearded Dragon’s Carpet?

It’s simple to clean bearded dragon bedding. Soak the carpet into the hot, soapy water for at least 15 minutes. Remove it and squeeze excess water out.

Lay the carpet on a piece of the garbage bag and use a soft-bristled brush to scrub one side gently before dipping the bedding into the water again. Do the same with the other side.

Rinse the carpet with hot tap water until there are no soap residues left and the water appears clear.

Finish the cleaning job with disinfection. Cover both sides and the interior of the carpet with a herp-safe disinfectant to kill all the lingering bacteria, viruses, and soap be killed.

Rinse the construction thoroughly to remove all the disinfectant. Let it air dry completely before being returned to the terrarium.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Digging?

For bearded dragons, digging is normal behavior. They dig to create a small but more comfortable basking area.

Female dragons tend to dig and move things around in the tank when they need to find a place for laying eggs.

When they grow older, digging serves as a means of semi-hibernation, facilitating beardies to regulate their temperature better while sleeping.

What Is The Best Baby Bearded Dragon Bedding?

Given various bearded dragon bedding options on the market, many experts consider slate tile, sand mats, and paper towels the safest materials for young bearded dragons’ use.

Cage liners that simulate the grassy terrain the wild are acceptable as long as you use them with a tight weave to avoid hurting your pet’s claws.

Never buy substrate made of many little pieces, typically pebbles, gravel, or sands. Such materials can increase the risk of gut impaction or object ingestion, more seriously intestinal tract blockage.

Without prompt treatment, this will be fatal. Baby dragons immensely love eating and can’t differentiate those small pieces from their food, ending up in consuming both.

One possible exception may be calcium based sands like Vita-Sand. Once swallowed, this type will be metabolized to pass through reptiles’ digestive system quickly.

However, you can’t overlook its risk, so take into account carefully before making a purchase.

What Bedding Is Best For Bearded Dragons?

Among the impressive products mentioned above, the Deluxe Reptile Terrarium Substrate Synthetic would arise first in my mind when it comes to the top pick.

Since the design allows you to cut to the exactly desirable size, there’s no waste.

Cleaning is no hassle, either. You can reuse the bedding for many times after merely hosing it off in the backyard or rinsing it off in the sink and letting it dry.

The brown color is a plus point since it brings about a sense of familiarity with the wildness for the beardie. Therefore, it takes the pet less time to get used to his new living environment.

Above all, the product is inedible, so it’s safe for all ages from young to old dragons.


Never purchase any particle substrate that includes small grains or chips, which poses a high threat of causing impaction.

The digestive tracts of bearded dragons, especially young ones, aren’t built to process those materials.

Adult dragons may be pickier in what they eat, but the risk of impaction isn’t minimal.

Whatever bedding you choose, there are several necessary precautions to take upon the introduction of new material into the habitat of beardies.

  • Materials need sterilizing to ensure the safety and hygiene of the pet when coming into contact. This isn’t the case with materials frequently changed since they will stay fresh after being replaced.
  • If you choose paving stones to cover the tank bottom, don’t forget to put them into the oven at around 350 degrees for 15 minutes so that any harmful germs or bacteria are killed. Let them cool and place in your docile friend’s living environment.

Have You Made Your Choice Yet?

Bedding plays a vital role in helping bearded dragons to have an enjoyable and healthy life. We hope our guide to the best-bearded dragon bedding can lead you to a sensible decision, strengthening the bonding tie with your docile companion.

No matter which substrate you go for, always put the comfort and safety of the pet on top of priorities. Slowly introduce it into his habitat to check out his reaction.

Don’t forget to share your experience in the comment below!

Last update on 2021-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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