Best Bearded Dragon Basking Rocks

Bearded dragons need to bask in UVB-rich light to keep their metabolisms going. To soak in the rays efficiently and be comfortable while enjoying the light and the warmth, beardies will highly appreciate a suitable basking rock. Here is the list of the best ones on the web!

Bearded Dragon Basking rocks (3)

Do you know what the favorite activity of an average bearded dragon is (well, besides feasting on juicy feeder insects)?

If you are a proud owner of a beardie or any other diurnal (day) lizard, you must know the answer.

Did I hear you say “Basking?”

Well, I believe you’re right!

Basking is definitely an activity that beardies enjoy. But, besides pure enjoyment, basking has a vital function in maintaining the lizard in prime condition.

Exposure to natural outdoor sunlight or a complementary UVB artificial light is essential for proper calcium metabolism because it leads to the synthesis of Vitamin D3. “Sunbathing,” even under UV light, is the only way for a diurnal lizard to ensure proper bone development and avoid issues such as metabolic bone disease.

The main condition for quality basking time is – you won’t believe this – it’s light! But, besides that obvious fact, reptiles also need a basking spot too.

In this article, you’ll find out why basking rocks are an important element of your bearded dragon’s tank interior and what are some of the best options on the market!

Why Does Your Bearded Dragon Need Basking Rocks?

Basking rocks are an important aspect of beardie care because they provide a comfortable spot for your bearded dragon to rest comfortably while soaking up the precious UVB rays. Being comfortable affects the overall quality of life, prevents injuries, and presumably maximizes the basking time.

Besides being a resting and sunbathing spot, quality basking rocks are also a source of passive heating. When they are made from heat-absorbing materials such as sandstone, they will retain heat from the heat-emitting light.

Since beardies come from the rugged and hot Australian outback, these heat-retaining basking rocks (and other decorative elements with heat-retaining properties) help simulate the natural landscape and help them feel at home, digest food better, and stay happy and healthy in general.

How To Choose The Best Basking Rocks For Your Bearded Dragon?

The reptile market offers a lot of choices regarding basking rocks, made by both industry and small businesses. However, not all basking rocks are ideal for a bearded dragon.

When trying to pick the right rock, it’s important to consider the following factors:

  • Size: Beardies are relatively bulky lizards, so make sure the rock is large enough for your bearded dragon to lay on and bask comfortably. It is important for the abdomen to have a relatively flat or otherwise open surface, with no bumps or bulges or notes where it lies.
  • Material: Always check if the rock is made out of non-toxic materials, especially if it’s plastic. The best rocks are made from natural and heat-retaining materials, such as basalt or ceramics. Heat retention is important so that the rock can be comfortably warm for your bearded dragon.
  • Stability: The rock should be stable and not easily tipped over.
  • Dimensions: You could find a perfect rock, but too large for your tank or too small for your beardie. Write down these basic measurements and check if the rock will fit nicely.
  • Safety: Avoid products with sharp edges or rough surfaces that can hurt your bearded dragon. That especially goes for the upper side of the rock where the beardie will be lying.

Some popular options for basking rocks include natural rocks out of granite, sandstone, or other minerals with flat surfaces and artificial rocks, usually made out of resin.

If you’re in the mood for something different, there are basking setups that are alternative to rocks – basking hammocks and platforms are also an option.

Also, it’s important to note that a new basing rock used should be cleaned and sanitized before use and every once in a while as a part of the tan maintenance (see below).

Bearded Dragon Basking in rocks

The 7 Best Bearded Dragon Basking Rocks (And Other Props)

With all the listed safety and comfort factors in mind, here is an overview of the best-bearded dragon-basking rocks you can find online!

Carolina Custom Cages Natural Habitat Rocks

carolina custom cages breaded dragon basking rockCarolina Custom Cages Natural Habitat Rocks are hand-selected, fully natural terrarium rocks with at least one flat side. The carefully picked shape allows them to be used as basking rocks but also for building rock formations in the terrarium.

The inherent porosity of the rocks lets it accumulate heat, but they cannot get too hot such as slate or ceramic tiles would, for example.

Considering that Carolina Custom Cages is an enclosure-oriented branch of Carolina Designer Dragons, it is no wonder that these rocks are chosen with beardies in mind.

The rocks come in two sizes – Medium (6” x 8”) and Large (7-¼ ” x 12-⅝ ”). Also, there are various colors – Blue Green, Deep Maroon, Painted Desert, Uluru Red, and Watarrka Rose.

Keep in mind since these rocks are natural, and not made in casts, so each piece is a little different – you may not get exactly what you see in the pictures.

🪨 See on Amazon

Reptology Shale Scape Step Ledge & Cave Hideout

PENN-PLAX Reptology Bearded Dragon Basking rock and caveBrace yourself – this one is as pretty as artificial rocks can go! The Shale Scape Step Ledge & Cave Hideout by Reptology is a miniature replica of a realistic rock formation, gray with moss-like green color for some vibrancy. There is a sufficient upper surface for basking, and although there is no fully flat surface, all the “rocks” are smooth and comfy.

The size of the product is 8.25 x 11 x 4 inches, and it is made out of safe, tested resin – the fact that it can is designated for aquarium use promises that it doesn’t leach contaminants.

The structure offers four hides; however, they will likely not be useful for bulky adult beardies.

🪨 See on Amazon

Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Basking Platform Corner Ramp, Large

Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Bearded Dragon Basking PlatformThe corner basking platform from Zilla has cute little stairs and a flat upper surface and is designed to be installed in one of the tank’s corners. A beardie can easily reach the flat top of the platform and enjoy stretching out while taking up the light and the heat.

All Zilla platforms are said to be hand-crafted from artificial materials that are easier to clean and have a look and feel of the real rock. Although the manufacturer doesn’t state which material it is exactly, we can conclude it is chemically stable because it is stated it doesn’t alter the water chemistry.

The Amazon website states that the large version of these ramps, suitable for beardies, was discounted by the manufacturer – so get them while they’re available.

🪨 See on Amazon

Zilla Reptile Habitat Décor Basking Platform Ramp, Large

Zilla Decor Bearded Dragon Basking RampThis ramp comes from the same collection as the previous product. However, its shape is not adjusted for corners. It has steps on the opposing sides, leading to a flat top, so the structure is in a shape of a regular, bridge-like platform.

The space beneath the platform is designed to be a hide, provided your beardie is still small enough to fit in. But even if not, the additional floor space can accommodate trays, decor, and other habitat elements.

🪨 See on Amazon

Bearded Dragon Hammocks

Reptile hammocks can literally add another dimension to your beardie enclosure. Since there is no attachment to the ground, you can use them to create additional “floors” in your beardie enclosure.

However, I wouldn’t recommend you use hammocks or beds as primary basking sites since they lack heat-retention properties. Still, they can make a great addition.

Choosing the right size hammock, ensuring it attaches well, and that it is made of safe materials, are some of the things to consider when picking a hammock.

Here is the list of interesting offers.

PENN-PLAX Reptology Lizard Lounger Corner Triangle (Large)

PENN-PLAX Reptology Bearded Dragon Lounger Corner TriangleThe Lizard Loungers are triangular, handwoven, natural seagrass hammocks with suction cups to attach them to the enclosure glass.

The beardies will use hammocks as any regular basking site. If you install one at an angle, it allows your beardie to fine-tune its proximity to the basking light – since the hammock is woven so the lizards can climb it, they can slightly change their position to get closer or farther away from the light.

One great thing about hammocks, such as the Lizard Lounger Corner Triangles, is that they can be placed at any height.

The 2.5” silicone suction cups easily attach to glass, plastic, and acrylic terrarium walls. Be careful to ensure a strong bond by cleaning and washing the suction cups with water before putting them in the tank (using warm water is even better). Also, the tank walls need to be squeaky clean but dry at the point of installation.

Despite suction cups being regularly used to attach hammocks to the tank’s walls, they make me a bit anxious – the suction cup can simply fall off, especially after a long time. It is rare, but it can still happen.

To err on the side of caution, don’t put the hammock too high, and ensure there are no rough rocks or other hard decorations directly below. On the plus side, the cups make the installation and removal effortless.

🪨 See on Amazon

Kathson Bearded Dragon Hammock with Fake Plants

kathson Bearded Dragon HammockThe lounger hammock from Kathson is very similar to the previous product – it is woven from natural seaweed – but comes with the additional option of securing the hammock with a hemp rope, besides the strong suction cups.

Also, plastic terrarium plants are included in the set. The ferns and the jungle vines are decent replicas of the real things. Although the advertisement says, they will give your reptile “a sense of home in the wild,” know that it is not proven that fake plants actually enhance the experience of your pet, especially a desert-dwelling lizard such as a bearded dragon.

Still, fake plants definitely add a level of vibrancy to the tank and are good options to brighten up the interior – especially if you don’t have resources for an elaborate natural or bioactive setup. Besides, they fit in with the jungle vibe of the hammock!

Although I’m a fan of natural enclosures and decorative elements, I just had to include this uber-cute hammock on the list.

🪨 See on Amazon

Dnoifne Reptile Hammock Swing Hanging Bed

Dnoifne Reptile Hammock SwingIf you don’t want to experiment with the hanging hammocks but still like the concept, a reptile hammock bed is available.

The reptile and rodent bed by Dnoifne is available in three versions: Plastic with Leaves Pattern, Plastic with Safflower pattern, Wood with Leaves Pattern, and Wood with Tower pattern. It provides the same feel as the hammock.

🪨 See on Amazon

Should a Bearded Dragon Bask All Day?

It is perfectly natural for a bearded dragon to bask a lot throughout the day. Besides basking, they like hanging out on “their” rock because they’re territorial. In their natural surrounding, males will perch on the highest rock of their territory to watch over their “property.” In a terrarium, the basking spot performs that function.

However, if your beardie basks a lot and shows symptoms of a reptile disease – is sluggish, has a poor appetite, doesn’t open its eyes, and has diarrhea, basking and additional warmth could be its try at healing itself. Pay attention to these signs at all times.

How Hot Should a Basking Rock Be for a Bearded Dragon?

The ideal basking spot temperature should be around 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit, with a basking spot directly under a UVB lamp. It will be the warmest spot in your beardie’s tank.

To ensure the proper temperature of the basking rock, it is also important to place the basking rock in the correct location within the enclosure. If your rock seems to be always getting too hot, experiment with lamp distance and angle to provide just the correct amount of heat and light.

Bearded Dragon Basking rocks

Should I Clean The Basking Rock?

If you own a beardie, you probably know this cold hard fact. If you’re not a lucky owner yet, you should know in advance.

Bearded dragons poop a lot. And they poop all over the place.

A beardie will have no issue leaving feces on the very spot they rest on. That is why it is important to keep the basking rock clean, wash it periodically, and disinfect it. Good hygiene will prevent the growth of bacteria and other harmful organisms.

Cleaning of natural rocks can be done by wiping it with a mild disinfectant solution or by soaking it in a solution of water and bleach. For artificial rocks, follow the advice of the producer. For example, Zilla advises washing their basking ramps in warm soapy water.

To Sum It Up

I hope you have found this overview of awesome basking rocks useful. As you probably figured by now, basking rocks are an essential aspect of caring for bearded dragons as they provide a necessary source of heat and a comfortable place to rest.

Just a quick reminder for safety and comfort – basking rocks should be made of heat-retaining materials and placed in the correct location under a heat lamp or basking light to ensure proper temps. It is also important to keep the rocks clean and disinfect them to maintain the dragon’s overall health periodically.

Did you find this list useful? Feel free to share it around!

Picture of Katarina Samurovic

Katarina Samurovic

Katarina is an environmental analyst and has been involved in herpetology research. She's been keeping reptiles for 20 years, mostly different species of turtles and leopard geckos. Her 2 lovely leos, Sonya and Mia are 21 and 20 years old.

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Picture of Katarina Samurovic
Katarina Samurovic
Katarina is an environmental analyst and has been involved in herpetology research. She's been keeping reptiles for 20 years, mostly different species of turtles and leopard geckos. Her 2 lovely leos, Sonya and Mia are 21 and 20 years old.