Cold blooded reptiles like the Bearded Dragon love to bask in the warmth of the sun (or heat lamp under human care). A basking rock is the ideal accessory for every enclosure because it mimics the natural rock formations that your beardie might scout out in the wild to get a good tan. More than that, basking is actually a vital activity for a Bearded Dragon. Without enough UVB lighting and vitamin D, Bearded Dragons are at risk of Metabolic Bone Disease, which can be life-threatening. Because you have more things on your mind than searching through reviews for hours on end, we’ve rounded up the top basking rocks for Bearded Dragons this year to guide your search.
A Quick Comparison of 2023 Winners
|Best Overall||Zilla Reptile Habitat Decor Shale Rock Den, Medium||
|Best Value||CC Pet Slate Reptile Basking Ramp||
|Premium Choice||Carolina Custom Cages Natural Habitat Rocks, Painted Desert||
|PENN-PLAX Reptology Shale Scape Step Ledge & Cave Hideout||
|Turtle Basking Platform Shale Scape Step Ledge||
The 6 Best Basking Rocks for Bearded Dragons
1. Zilla Reptile Habitat Decor Shale Rock Den – Best Overall
Crafted from sturdy shale, the Zilla Reptile Habitat Decor Shale Rock Den is our choice for the best overall basking rock for Bearded Dragons. Shale retains heat, which is a fantastic feature for the sunning rock. Meanwhile, the enclosed bottom level provides a shady spot for your Beardie to hide once they’re finished with their fun in the sun. The nonporous material is easy to clean with soap and water.
The only downside of this rock is its size. It’s only 9 inches long, which might not be big enough for an adult Beardie.
2. CC Pet Slate Reptile Basking Ramp – Best Value
Our pick for the best basking rock for Bearded Dragons for the money, the CC Pet Slate Reptile Basking Ramp, measures 10 inches long and 10 inches wide, making it a moderately sized ramp perfect for young Bearded Dragons or small adults. Although it has “slate” in its name, this product is actually made from plastic. However, this is actually good news for cleaning because the product is dishwasher safe, a unique feature among reptile accessories. While you can’t chuck a real rock into the dishwasher, you can wash the CC Pet Slate Reptile Basking Ramp with the rest of your dishes and not worry about it chipping or fading due to the colored resin throughout. Available on Chewy for under $25, this product will make your Beardie and your budget happy.
3. Carolina Custom Cages Natural Habitat Rock – Premium Choice
|Material:||Natural Rock Formation|
If you don’t live near the desert, Carolina Custom Cages Natural Habitat Rocks are the next best thing! As our premium choice, it doesn’t get more authentic than a real rock formation available on Amazon. Products vary, since it is a real rock, but on the whole they’re smooth and generously sized, about 12 inches long and 9 inches wide. The rocks are grouped according to color, with choices such as Blue Green, Deep Maroon, Painted Desert, Uluru Red, and Watarrka Rose.
Our favorite thing about the Carolina Custom Cages Natural Habitat Rocks is the peace of mind that comes from knowing it’s a natural, nontoxic product, as opposed to a plastic resin rock. Plus, the natural rock formations are easy to clean with soap and water, just like they would receive a natural cleansing rain in the wild. We love that it’s very similar to what you would find in a Bearded Dragon’s natural habitat.
4. PENN-PLAX Reptology Shale Scape
The PENN-PLAX Reptology Shale Scape features stairs and four hideout locations for your Beardie’s leisure. Its generous size gives your Beardie plenty of space to lounge across its 11-inch span, with room to dangle their tail down the sides. The resin material wipes clean easily with soap and a damp cloth. PENN-PLAX offers several different play structures for reptiles and aquatic animals, but we recommend this model because the layout best accommodates Beardies.
5. Turtle Basking Platform Shale Scape Step Ledge
Although marketed towards turtles, this basking rock will delight your Beardie with its large, 12-inch diameter and lower-level hideout. The beautifully carved and painted resin mimics a natural rock formation and is aesthetically pleasing, even with fake greenery painted on the sides. Since it’s made from resin—not shale as the description suggests—this basking rock is easy to clean with soap and water.
However, unlike some of the synthetic basking rocks on our list, this one isn’t explicitly dishwasher safe, so you only want to hand wash only. In fact, it’s recommended that you rinse and soak the product for 10–15 seconds before introducing it to your Beardie to give it a more natural appearance. This basking rock also comes in two color choices, a desert palate and one with more green hues.
6. Magtara Ledge Hideout Rainforest Series
The Magtara Ledge Hideout Rainforest Series provides three hideout entrances for your Bearded Dragon. Featuring intricate, painted details and a smoothly carved interior, this resin rock looks very realistic while being safer than natural rock. While the rock is generously sized overall with an 11-inch width, the top area for basking is smaller than we’d like. The basking rock is only 5.5 inches wide. This is fine for young or petite Beardies, but otherwise their tail will trail down the stairs.
Buyer’s Guide: Picking the Best Basking Rock for Bearded Dragon
When searching for the perfect basking rock for your Bearded Dragon, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. Size, functionality, safety, and durability are the main factors to consider, in addition to aesthetic preferences.
The average adult Bearded Dragon measures about 16–22 inches long. Most Beardies are adopted under a year, though, so they’ll likely be closer to 10 inches when you bring them home. Beardies grow up quickly, so you’ll want to be sure to prepare their enclosure for their growth. Part of this includes finding a basking rock that they can grow into. While it doesn’t have to be as long as they are, it should at least comfortably fit their torso, even if their tail hangs off the sides.
Some basking rocks, such as the Carolina Custom Cages Natural Rock Habitats, are simply there to chill out on and catch some rays. Other rocks feature hiding places, which can be an excellent extra function. If your rock of choice doesn’t have anywhere for your Beardie to hide, you might want to consider adding another accessory to their tank that will give them some privacy.
While natural rocks have sharp corners, plastic shards from synthetic rocks can pose a danger to your Beardie. Most of the resin rocks on our list are smoothly carved on the inside so they don’t accidentally scratch themselves. However, if you think the surface is still a little too rough, you can always gently sand it down with a piece of sandpaper.
Natural rocks wash well with soap and water, but some synthetic rocks, like the CC Pet Slate Reptile Basking Ramp, are even dishwasher safe for easy clean-up.
Our overall best choice, the Zilla Reptile Habitat Decor Shale Rock Den, provides your Bearded Dragon with a basic basking rock and enclosure for when they want some me-time. As our best value option, the CC Pet Slate Reptile Basking Ramp rocked our list for the low price and high quality. It was even the easiest to clean since it’s the only one on our list that’s dishwasher safe. Although you can’t put it in the dishwasher, the Carolina Custom Cages Natural Habitat Rocks definitely made the cut as our premium option since it’s an actual rock and most closely resembles what a Bearded Dragon would see in its natural habitat. Ultimately, the best basking rock for you and your Beardie depends on their size, personality, and your preferences.