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Which popular reptile terrarium on Chewy is best?

While many people think of reptile enclosures as little more than a fish tank, these animals have unique requirements when it comes to ideal living spaces. Thankfully, many manufacturers sell terrariums designed to meet the needs of reptiles with models that cater to a variety of species.

The Repti Zoo Double Hinge Glass Reptile Terrarium is built with reptile health in mind. This ventilated enclosure includes double doors, a locking mesh lid and a host of other features that make it easy to provide your reptile companion with a safe, healthy habitat.

What to know before you buy a reptile terrarium

Terrarium size

One of the most basic considerations is the amount of space your pet will require. Even though reptiles spend a lot of time lounging and basking, they still need enough room to stretch out, explore and exercise. Carefully research your species to determine how much room is appropriate for your reptile. Keep in mind that most animals are sold as babies and will grow to many times their current size.

Your pet’s natural environment

Terrariums are designed to replicate the environments most commonly kept reptiles live in naturally — from shallow terrariums made for desert dwellers such as bearded dragons and tortoises to tall enclosures made for jungle climbers like chameleons and boas. Be sure your terrarium’s shape and configuration will let your pet move around comfortably.


Determine a safe, permanent location for your terrarium. Avoid areas close to heaters or air-conditioning vents, as regulating the temperature in your reptile’s enclosure is critical for your pet’s health. Areas that experience direct sunlight are fine, as long as you provide shelter for your pet and can ensure that the sun will not heat your terrarium to unsafe levels. Keep your pet where it can enjoy peace and quiet without the stress of constant traffic and disturbance.

What to look for in a quality reptile terrarium


Glass terrariums should feature a screen or mesh lid sturdy enough to hold any lighting and heating fixtures. Be sure the lid locks to prevent escape. Some terrariums come equipped with built-in lid locks while others include clips that hold the lid in place. Built-in locks make for a streamlined, efficient look, but may wear out over time. Clips look less seamless, but are inexpensively replaced if needed. 


Reptiles require proper air flow. Air in enclosed glass tanks can quickly become unhealthy due to the buildup of gases such as ammonia. Some terrarium models feature screen side panels to provide your pet with ventilation. For very sensitive animals like chameleons, adequate ventilation is a necessity and cannot be ignored. 


Many terrariums from reptile product manufacturers include accessories such as light fixtures, bulbs, and thermometers. You can find a great deal of value in selecting a kit that will provide some of the equipment you will need in one package. Most kits, however, will still need additional items added based on the species of the reptile you are housing.


One of the most interesting aspects of reptile ownership is building an environment that beautifully mimics your pet’s natural habitat. To further enhance your terrarium’s look, select a model that appeals to your sensibilities in shape and design. However, be sure to always prioritize the needs of your pet over your personal style.

How much you can expect to spend on a reptile terrarium

Chewy offers a wide range, from small reptile terrarium kits that cost as little as $75 all the way up to large, fully-featured enclosures that cost over $500. The model that will best suit your needs depends entirely on your pet’s requirements.

Reptile terrarium FAQ

Can I use a fish tank for a reptile terrarium?

A. In some cases, yes. Many people house reptiles in fish tanks, as they are readily available and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. However, fish tanks do not provide good ventilation, a deal-breaker for some especially fragile reptile species. Carefully consider your options and research your pet to determine if a fish tank will work for you.

Why does my reptile need special lighting in its terrarium?

A. Because reptiles require ultraviolet light to build healthy bones and digest their food, they need special bulbs that produce the same rays as the sun to maintain their health and energy. Reptiles not exposed to the proper ultraviolet rays will develop fragile skeletons and succumb to illness.

How do I heat my reptile terrarium?

A. Many people warm their reptiles with light bulbs, ceramic heat emitters or special heaters that adhere to the bottom of the terrarium and provide warmth from below. While once popular, so-called “heat rocks” have been known to burn and injure animals and are to be avoided.

Reptile terrarium tips

  • Clean frequently. Reptiles can be messy, so their enclosures can become polluted quickly with waste and uneaten food. Regularly clean your terrarium to keep your pet healthy, being sure to pay special attention to your pet’s substrate and floor. Because reptiles rest on their bellies, ammonia and other hazardous chemicals or waste products can cause skin irritation and rashes.
  • Mind the humidity. Reptiles such as chameleons, which live under extremely humid conditions but also require a great deal of ventilation, can be a challenge to keep healthy. Consider investing in a fogger that will provide a constant source of airborne moisture for your pet.
  • Keep reptiles, not insects. Uneaten prey items crickets, roaches or mealworms can escape into your pet’s habitat. These pesky creatures may not only annoy your companion by crawling on them, they will also feed on whatever they can find in your pet’s tank and contribute to the environment’s waste. Offer live prey insects in a bowl they can’t escape from to prevent them from settling into your reptile’s domain.

What are the best reptile terrariums to buy?

Top reptile terrarium

Repti Zoo Double Hinge Glass Reptile Terrarium

Repti Zoo Double Hinge Glass Reptile Terrarium

What you need to know: This specially designed terrarium is loaded with reptile-focused features.

What you’ll love: This tank provides excellent ventilation, thanks to its screened top and side panels. It allows easy access to your pet and the environment via its two front doors and locking top. Its waterproof bottom allows for semi-aquatic habitats.

What you should consider: Buyers need to keep track of the key used to unlock this terrarium’s doors.

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy

Top reptile terrarium for the money

Zilla Tropical Reptile Terrarium Starter Kit With Light and Heat, 10-gallon

Zilla Tropical Reptile Terrarium Starter Kit With Light and Heat, 10-gallon

What you need to know: This terrarium includes many useful accessories to get you started on your path to responsible reptile ownership.

What you’ll love: Featuring a lid that locks into place with clips, a heating mat, substrate, thermometer, light fixture and more, this kit is a great temporary enclosure or starting point for a small reptile.

What you should consider: This terrarium’s small size makes it only appropriate for small or baby animals. It doesn’t include food or water bowls and is not highly ventilated.

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy

Worth checking out

Trixie Glass Reptile Terrarium

Trixie Glass Reptile Terrarium

What you need to know: Available in multiple shapes and sizes, this reptile terrarium is designed with many species in mind.

What you’ll love: A locking lid, screen vents and front doors make this terrarium model an excellent choice for a wide range of animals. 

What you should consider: The screen vents may not be strong enough to withstand pressure from large snakes looking for escape.

Where to buy: Sold by Chewy


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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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