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Can a Bearded Dragon Live in a Wire Cage? (Really?)

While you research the setup for your Bearded Dragon you may be wondering what materials you should use for your enclosure. And you may be curious if a wire cage is a good idea.

A bearded dragon should not be put in a wire cage. This is because you can not control the temperature properly. This is why glass enclosures are quite common for Bearded Dragons because the temperature is easier to control.

Now that you know that I do not recommend using a wire cage for your Beardie, keep reading to learn what you should use for your enclosure instead, the best size of the enclosure, why some wood is dangerous, and so much more.

Comparison: Best enclosures for your Bearded Dragon


Name Image My Rating
01. Large Terrarium (Best overall choice)
Click here for the price on Amazon
02. Extra-long Terrarium (Best for large adults)
Click here for the price on Amazon
03. Small Terrarium (Ideal for Babies)
Click here for the price on Amazon



Can a Bearded Dragon live in an Aquarium?

Now that you know that wire cages are not ideal for Bearded Dragons. You may be curious about reusing an Aquarium you may have, or just wondering if they are a viable choice for your Beardie. Let me explain.

You can use an aquarium for your Bearded Dragon, and some owners swear by it. But, it is not ideal. Because Aquariums are specifically designed for fish. And, there are some subtle requirements that fish have, that your lizard does not need. Which, I will explain in the next section.

The difference between an Aquarium & a Terrarium

As I mentioned earlier, an aquarium is designed for fish. This means that it is waterproof and designed to hold water. Therefore, it has no air holes. Terrariums on the other hand are not waterproof. They usually have breathing holes or draining holes.

Is plywood safe for bearded dragons?

Now that you know that aquariums are not ideal. There may be a chance that you have wondered about using wood. Wood is a consideration, but it is critical to choose the correct wood because some are toxic (more on this later). In this section, I will explain if plywood is an acceptable choice.

According to this site, Plywood is safe to use for your Beardie. However, you need to make sure that you seal it with a non-toxic sealant. One of the benefits of plywood is the fact that it is cheap and lightweight.

What wood is toxic to bearded dragons?

In the last section I mentioned that some wood can be toxic, remember? Well, in this section I will explain some that you need to steer clear of to keep your Bearded Dragon safe.

Avoid Cedar Wood

One of the biggest risks is cedarwood. It is highly toxic and should be avoided for your Bearded Dragon. You may be wondering why I say this, and what can happen if you use it, right?

It is believed that it can cause a toxic reaction and in the worst cases it could even be fatal. The problem is, it has phenols, aromatic hydrocarbons & oils that cause a chemical reaction when it is heated up.

Other wood to avoid

Although Cedar is the worst, there are others to avoid as well. Such as:

  • Pine
  • Fir
  • Eucalyptus

This is why, for these reasons, other Bearded Dragons keep it simple and go for a glass terrarium to play it safe.

What size tank should a Bearded Dragon be in?

Now that you know some of the materials you should avoid using for your enclosure. What about the sizing? Therefore, in this section, I will explain the ideal size for your Beardie depending on his age.

Baby Beardies

Baby Bearded Dragons, as you can imagine, do not need as much space as an adult. Therefore you can get away with the minimum size of 20 gallons. However, it is ideal to go for 40 gallons. This is to give him more room to relax and space to maneuver.

Adult Beardies

For an adult Beardie, as you can imagine, they need much more room. They grow fast and demand more space. A Terrarium of at least 55 gallons should be considered. However, 75 gallons is better for them. Gives them more space and keeps them happier, are you with me?

Large Adult Beardies

If you have quite a large Bearded Dragon, for example, over 20 inches. You will need to consider a bigger enclosure. For this lizard, you need at least 75 gallons, but ideally 120 gallons. The bigger it is, the more room they have to feel happy.

What is the ideal cage for a Bearded Dragon?

In this section, I will compare 3 different enclosures for your Beardie. Each one is best for different aged lizards, which I will explain in each section.

01. Large Terrarium (Best overall choice)

Click here for the price on Amazon


  • Easy to setup
  • Waterproof base
  • Extra packaging (reduces damage in transit)
  • Sliding doors (Easy access)


  • No background (can’t cover wires, etc)
  • No door handles

What I like about this large Terrarium

This is a nice large enclosure for most Bearded Dragons. I love the fact that it is easy to set up, the worse thing is some time-consuming setup process, are you with me? It comes with a waterproof base so no worries about leakages here.

From time to time, with any glass-based item, in transit, they may break. So, it’s reassuring that the vendor has added extra packaging to help to reduce the chances of this happening. It also has sliding doors. This is great for easy access.

What I dislike about this large Terrarium

Like any good thing, nothing is perfect, right? This enclosure could benefit from a background. This would help you to hide the ugly wires when you look inside. Also, some handles would help to make it even better.

02. Extra-long Terrarium (Best for large adults)

Click here for the price on Amazon


  • Great large size (Good for big Beardies)
  • Easy to get it setup
  • Waterproof base
  • key-lock security


  • The clips, used for closing, are a bit tricky to clip on
  • Instructions are a bit confusing

What I like about this large Terrarium

I mentioned earlier that larger Beardies, over 20 inches, will benefit from a larger enclosure, remember? Well, this is an example of a great solution for them. This extra-long enclosure will keep most large Beadies happy.

Apart from its size, its simple to get it setup. It also has a waterproof base as well. I also appreciate the key-lock security. This can come in handy on certain occasions.

What I dislike about this large Terrarium

This enclosure has clips, that are used to close the door. They work fine, but it can be a bit tricky getting them in place, to begin with. Also, the instructions are a bit confusing, in my opinion. But, some may be fine with them or may not even use them.

03. Small Terrarium (Ideal for Babies)

Click here for the price on Amazon


  • The front doors can open separately
  • Waterproof bottom
  • Cute inlets (Hide wires, etc)
  • Good size for a baby beardie


  • The door can be tricky to close at times
  • Some babies will need a larger space

What I like about this large Terrarium

This enclosure is a nice small one for a baby Beardie. It has front doors that open separately. This comes in handy if you just need one open to reduce the chances of him running off, are you with me?

It also has some cute inlets. This comes in handy to hide the ugly wires and make the whole cage look more presentable. It also has a waterproof base.

What I dislike about this large Terrarium

From time to time you may notice that the door may be a bit tricky to close at times. Also, this enclosure is quite small, so some babies may need a larger size.

Related Questions:

In this section, I will answer questions related to caring for a Bearded Dragon. If you have some more questions you need answering feel free to contact me.

Q: Is a Bearded Dragon similar to keeping other pets?

Keeping Bearded Dragons is quite different from other pets. For example, a dog or cat is quite active and proactively seek you out for love and affection. However, Beardies will stay in their enclosure and wait for you to come to them.

Some people say they are similar to carrying for a snake (Click here to see if a Bearded Dragon or a Ball Python is better to keep).


Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.