Bearded dragons are ectotherms that regulate their body temperature using ambient heat to maintain their preferred body temperature of 34–35 degrees Celsius. They do this by either basking under the sun if they are cold or going to a sheltered cooler place when it is too hot.
In the wild, they often bask on rocks, posts, broken trees, branches, logs, or on any other surface that will allow them to catch the sun’s warmth as well as UV light.
On the other hand, while in captivity, these exotic pets require a basking platform as well as heat source or lamps
We have separately looked at bearded dragon heat lamps and optimum basking area temperature, where we also mentioned the significance of keeping the right temperature during the day and night.
This work will focus on basking platforms where we will look at some of the best platforms to use for this area. Of course, some of these platforms, including, climbing branches and logs, and reptile hammocks.
Note that those with a rough surface will help wear down your pet’s nail. Long nails may break their skin and will need nail clipping.
Best basking rocks and platforms
Before we give you the best brands, it is wise to provide you with advice on how to pick a brand that will serve you well. Some of the key considerations to put into account as you search for the ideal basking items include the following:
- Big enough to fit your pet and allow them to comfortably and freely stretch.
- It should be easy to access and allow pets to move closer or further away from the heat bulb whenever they feel like without touching the bulb or any hot fixture/surface.
- Safe, i.e., not made from toxic material
- Durable and be able to withstand the lamp heat.
- Easy to clean
- Have value for your money.
Armed with what best basking platforms for this pet should possess, it is time to look at some of the best brands. Note that some may serve as climbing place or hideout (caves) if it is hollow beneath it.
1. Zilla Reptile Basking Platform with Ramp
This platform is a durable, easy to clean (with warm water and soap) that has a rock feel and look. Your bearded dragon will easily access the basking area using its stepped ramp that will stimulate activity and exercise your pet.
Depending on the size of your breaded dragon, you can buy the corner or platform that comes in small, large, and jumbo sizes.
2. Carolina Custom Cages Natural Habitat Rocks – small and large
Carolina Custom Cages have painted rocks that come in blue-green, Watarrka Rose, deep maroon, Uluru Red, and painted desert, designed for use as warming rocks or making unique habitat rock structures.
They are either natural rocks, i.e., coated Styrofoam or made of resins and come in come medium and large sizes measuring about 6” by 8” and 7.25” by 12.8,” respectively.
Finally, their natural porosity ensures they absorb heat to quickly get warm and retain the heat without getting very hot as glazed slates or ceramic tiles do.
3. Zoo Med Reptile Mopani Wood
The Zoo Med Reptile Mopani Wood is a durable hardwood ideal for climbing and lounging as they catch heat waves. It comes in small, medium, large, extra-large sizes to ensure your pet perfectly fits on it.
To use this Mopani wood, place it inclined towards the heat source to allow your pets to move to a higher point or a lower point depending on their warmth needs.
Note that most of the climbing logs and branches can work perfectly well as a place for these pets to warm themselves so long as they are big and broad enough to accommodate your bearded dragon comfortably.
4. Penn-Plax Lizard Lounger
The Penn-Plax lizard lounger is a versatile and most loved reptile hammock that can double up as an excellent basking platform for these pets. It is durable, easy to clean, and is all-natural, i.e., the manufacturer uses 100% thick seagrass, making it very sturdy and safe for these pets.
Moreover, they come in triangular, rectangular, and polygon (triangular with an extension) all with leather straps and suction cups for mounting them to your glass, acrylic or plastic terrarium or cage types.
Strategically installing it and using a reptile ladder such as the Zoo Med Mesh Lizard Ladder will turn this lounger to a great basking area for your pets.
5. Fluker’s Driftwood
The Fluker’s Driftwood is not only perfect for climbing but also basking. Its appealing looks will be an excellent addition to your bearded dragon terrarium’s décor. Furthermore, if you have a baby, juvenile, or a small beardie, it can roundup as a sheltering or hiding place.
Don’t worry about its safety as this driftwood is heat-treated, and its various sizes give you a chance to buy what will match your pet’s size.
- Exo Terra Reptile Cave – it is also ideal for hiding especially by smaller reptiles
- Zilla Herp Hotel – for climbing, hiding, and basking platform.
Placing your basking platform correctly
When placing your rock or platform, ensure it is firmly fixed and doesn’t fall or tipple off to avoid it injuring your pet. Do this to any other furniture in your terrarium.
Furthermore, raise it and place it closer to the basking lamp. However, ensure the bulb has a guard, and these pets cannot go too close to be burnt.
DIY bearded dragon basking spot with Styrofoam.
Instead of spending money buying a basking platform or other décors, including hiding caves and climbing branches, you can make all of them at home.