6 Best Sands For Bearded Dragons

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Home is the place where everyone gets to spend the most comfortable and enjoyable moments. When you build your home, you definitely wish to get the best flooring, best carpet and best finished interior for the rooms, but do you think with same attention for the bearded dragons that you have kept in the vivariums?

A reptile is the kind of creature who takes long time to get adjusted with a new place. So when you bring a new one to your home, you must take extra care of its living place. You should be able to understand when it is feeling comfortable and what makes it at ease. Not all the materials make the dragons happy. So you should do some research before getting any material for the dragon’s terrarium.

The 6 Best Substrate for Bearded Dragons

Understanding the quality and differences between different kinds of materials will help you to choose the right thing. Sand is always preferable as reptiles like dragons prefer that to other varieties much more.

So let us suggest the best quality sands for the dragons which are popular and available on the market or online stores.

1. Zoo Med Repti Sand

This is red colored sand which is quite comfortable for the most of bearded dragons. The brand has earned its reputation in the pet industry by serving lots of pet owners for a long time now. The quality of the products that they offer is always superb. The sand, as we are discussing, is also of natural texture. The quartz desert sand is very similar to the natural texture and thus offers best feel of natural environment.

Dragons love to stay on sand as they can dig the burrow within it. The dragons look for the holes while they try to get the natural cooling process. This is a chemical free product, thus there will be no side effects of this substrate on the bearded dragons while you use it on their terrariums. The natural reddish color is much similar to the original desert sand of Australia.

Zoo Med (2 Pack) Repti Sand Desert White All Natural 10 lbs

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This is great sand for the price it is available. For sand bath and basking, this artificial sand offers the perfect heat absorption technique. The dragons basically love the feel of this sand. The fine grains never harm the body of the dragons but sometimes it does stick and make lumps.


  • Fine grains
  • Reddish color
  • Chemical free


  • When comes in touch with moisture, lump forms

2. Reptile sciences terrarium sand

This unusual salmon pink colored sand is pretty good for the reptiles at your household. This is 100% digestible sand which is made of calcium carbonate and it is sure to prevent your dragon from any kind of abrasion. As this sand is made of all natural grains, there will be no chance of the bearded dragon getting ill after using it. As the grains are all of orbicular shape, it will not cut or scratch the bodies of the pets.

There is no silica or phosphate on this sand. The risk of impaction will be significantly lowered on the bearded dragon if you use this sand on the terrarium. There is essential strontium, potassium and magnesium in this sand which will allow the reptiles to grow stronger and their immunity will be boosted very much.

Reptile Sciences Terrarium Sand, 10-Pound, 100% All-Natural Orbicular Grains, (White)

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There is an element in this sand, which works as natural odor neutralizer, that is, it actually works to remove the body odor of the reptile. The environment inside the enclosure will be free from any harsh smell and soothing.

You can also use this as a second layer of substrate and it will give the bearded dragon the chance to dig a hole. You can keep the dragon away from eating it, as digesting it might be a problem for the little creature. Feed the dragon on time so it does not consume the sand.


  • Complete natural product
  • No chemicals mixed
  • Makes dragons happy


  • Cost


3. Zilla Snake and Sand Litter

Instead of natural sand you can use this product. This one also does not have any side effect as it is made from ground eucalyptus and fir shavings. This natural composition makes this product one of the favorite choice of bearded dragon owners. Toxic free and freshly scented, this is one hugely popular sand substitute for the terrariums.

It can absorb liquids and moisture. This quality of Zilla sand makes it a recommended product by the vets as well. It will keep the environment free of humidity. This sand is totally environment friendly and contains natural aspen. Laboratory grade aspen chips are used in this sand which is a must prescribed item of herpetologists. No essential oil is put into this substance, thus it is ideal for the reptiles. Spot cleaning is easy while you use this sand litter as it contains ideal sized chips.

Zilla Snake and Lizard Litter, Aspen, 24 qt.

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Dragons love to dig into this sand and also love to use this as bedding. No chance of getting mold here and this is another great benefit of this sand. This sand is completely odor or dust free and thus is healthy for the dragons.


  • Liquid absorption
  • Natural
  • Toxin free
  • Absorbs odor


  • Some reptiles hate the shredded texture

4. Zoo Med Excavator Clay burrowing substrate 

This is a budget priced substrate which will make your bearded dragon happy with its ability of holding on. This feature is much helpful when the dragons try to dig a tunnel and that keeps held. This is made of a natural product and thus will help your bearded dragon to stay healthy.

The texture of this substrate is so fine that it will make the dragons feel at home. Naturalistic reptiles who prefer dry regions will surely love it. The feel of this sand is soft which encourages the reptiles to dig into it. You can mix it with organic topsoil to retain the natural feeling and texture. This clay is needed to be wet when you first apply it. Later you can leave it to dry on the heat of heater within the terrarium.

Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate, 10 Pounds

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  • Helps to dig
  • Removes bad odor
  • Natural feel and texture


  • Gets crackly when dried

5. Zoo Med Vita Sand

If you like golden coloured sand which will look and feel great and the bearded dragon will feel comfortable on it, then just get the Zoo Med Vita Sand. This is a vitamin enriched substrate which also holds calcium carbonate. There is no artificial sealer in it. This sand also contains fat-soluble vitamins which never going to harm your dragon. You will be worry free to know that if your dragon consumes little bit of this sand, it will not cause them any health issue.

Zoo Med Vita Sand, 10 Pounds, White

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There are various color options for this sand. You can choose any of them safely as there is no chemical color or additives are mixed with this sand. The smooth and fine granules are great to rest on or dig. The dragons will love to bask on this substrate. You will get this sand at a cheaper rate than the usual sands available for the dragons.


  • Digestible
  • Natural
  • No additives or dye


  • Can cause harm if ingested in large amount

6. Zilla Ground English Walnut Shells 

The substrate we are talking about, is of desert blend. This quality is really helpful for the dragons that prefer to stay in desert like environment. The natural ground English Walnut shells offer the similar feel and color. This is one of the priciest options in our list, but the texture and quality gives the assurance of keeping your dragon safe.

Zilla 11763 Ground English Walnut Shells Desert Blend, 25-Quart Bag,Black

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As the name suggests, this is not actually sand but a mix of walnut shells along with other natural ingredients.

This natural product is safe for the dragons, and it will keep the dragons safe, clean and healthy. The additional benefits that this substrate has to offer are many.  The dragon can burrow the hold and rest inside it, on this sand at their terrarium. It is not very heat retaining, but can be mixed with clumps of yard waste. This is an eco friendly substance that is pretty easy to clean.


  • Easy to clean
  • Protects the tank
  • Heat saving


  • Not digestible


As bearded dragons are the reptiles of desert, they prefer to have sand in their terrariums. It makes them safe and they feel at home with sand as the substrate. Bearded dragons prefer some specific kind of substrate which will keep them mentally and physically healthy.

More: Best Lighting for a Bearded Dragon