Bearded Dragon Setup Cost: Must Haves to Get Started

So, you’re thinking about welcoming a bearded dragon into your home – how exciting! You’re probably wondering about the bearded dragon set up cost and what you actually need immediately vs what you can add later. These captivating reptiles make wonderful companions, but before you bring your scaly friend home, let’s talk about the essentials.

Bearded Dragon Setup Cost: What you definitely need


The foundation of a happy dragon is a comfortable home. You’ll need a terrarium size that is appropriate for your bearded dragon’s current size (with a little room to grow). Learn all about the details of aquarium sizes for bearded dragons in our blog post, What Size Aquarium for Bearded Dragon

Bedding and Substrate

Bedding is what your bearded dragon will snuggle into and sleep, while substrate is what lines the bottom of the tank to soak up waste. You can read all about what you need in our post, The Best Bedding & Substrate for Your Bearded Dragon.

Heating and Lighting

Creating the perfect microclimate is crucial for your dragon’s health. Heat and light are two extremely important factors, not just for health and happiness, but for survival for your bearded dragon. Discover the essentials of maintaining the right temperature gradients, the various heating elements available (including heat lamps and ceramic heaters), and why providing adequate UVB lighting is non-negotiable for these sun-loving creatures in our blog post, How Long Can A Bearded Dragon Go Without Heat

Decor and Enrichment

Turn your dragon’s habitat into a reptilian paradise! Enrichment is key, and we’ll discuss how to keep your dragon mentally stimulated and happy in their new abode. While you don’t have to have these types of things up front, you will need them soon after your beardie movies in so they have a happy life. Bearded dragons need a hiding place and interesting things to look at to keep them stimulated. So don’t skip these things long term! If you put life plants in your tank, be sure they are Safe Plants for Bearded Dragons to Eat. 

Feeding and Nutrition

Not only does your dragon need a set up to move into, but it also needs food and water to meet its dietary needs ready to go upon arrival. Check out our bearded dragon posts on diet, we’ll guide you through the essentials of keeping your dragon well-fed and thriving.

Essential Accessories

On top of the things already mentioned, you’ll need a few other important tools. Thermometers, hygrometers, food and water dishes, and digital timers for lighting and heating elements. These accessories are the unsung heroes of a well-maintained dragon home.

Average Total Cost of a Starter Bearded Dragon Set Up

The average price of setting up a new bearded dragon enclosure, including all the necessary items and initial food supplies, can range from approximately $200 to $500. Here’s a breakdown of the estimated costs for the essential components:

1. Terrarium/Enclosure: $50 – $150

2. Substrate: $10 – $30

3. Heating Elements: $30 – $50

4. UVB Lighting: $20 – $40

5. Decor and Enrichment: $20 – $50

6. Accessories (Thermometers, Hygrometers, Dishes, Timers): $20 – $40

7. Initial Food Supplies (Insects, Vegetables): $20 – $30

Keep in mind that these are average estimates, and actual costs may vary based on factors such as the size of the enclosure, the quality of items purchased, and regional pricing differences. Additionally, prices may be influenced by whether you opt for a complete starter kit or buy individual components separately. A good starter kit includes a bearded dragon tank, a screen lid, and everything you need inside of it to get started easily. This is the best option for new bearded dragon owners and the best way to make sure you have everything you need for a healthy bearded dragon. You can get things you want to add later. This will get them started in something similar to their natural habitat so your new bearded dragon doesn’t get too stressed out in their new home. 

what size aquarium for bearded dragon

Get a full Zoo Med 20-gallon tank bearded dragon starter kid here for $192.


It’s important to remember that the initial setup cost is a one-time investment. As far as ongoing cost goes, these will include a number of factors for regular expenses like monthly cost for a balanced diet (feeder insects, leafy greens, and more), vet visits for proper care long term or any health problems that arise, and periodic replacements of your heat bulb or other heat source and consumable items. You may also want to take your beardie for an initial vet visit to make sure it doesn’t have any health issues to start with, but this is not a requirement. 

Investing in a proper setup is crucial for the well-being of your bearded dragon. You want to make sure they have a comfortable and enriching environment from the start for a happy and healthy life! 

More Posts You May Like:

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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberry? (Plus Leaves & Seeds)

What Bugs Can a Bearded Dragon Eat and What to Bugs to Avoid

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