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Best Vivariums and Terrariums for 2020

Finding the right enclosure for your new reptile can be a needlessly frustrating task, especially when trying to navigate the strange world of vivariums and terrariums.

With so many different reptiles and amphibians needing very specific living conditions, choosing between the very few reptile enclosures on the market suddenly becomes a horrible dilemma. Especially when all you want to know is which tank is best for your particular pet!

So to help reptile newbies find the perfect home for their new pal, we’ve searched high and low for the best vivariums and terrariums, as well as giving some insight into which animals they’d make a suitable living environment for!

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Medium/Low
    • Front opening doors for quick access
    • Stainless steel mesh cover
    • Available in 9 other sizes!
    Check Price
    VivExotic Viva+ Arboreal Vivarium
    • Toughened glass
    • Extra tall and wide
    • Plenty of ventilation
    Check Price
    Vivexotic Repti-Home Vivarium
    • Safety glass prevents injury or escape
    • Suitable for stacking
    • OneFix plastic connectors
    • Available in 2 smaller sizes
    Check Price

    The Top 8 Best Vivariums and Terrariums Reviewed

    1.
    Exo Terra Glass Natural Terrarium Medium/Low

    Terrariums are one of the most popular types of home for reptiles and amphibians, providing a visually entertaining enclosure as well as all the features your pet needs to thrive.

    Exo Terra is undoubtedly the best brand when it comes to this form of reptile enclosure and their Natural Terrarium range is available in 9 different sizes and designs, meaning you can make the perfect pick for your pet based on their size and environment needs!

    This Medium/Low design is probably the most suitable for larger lizards and snakes, with double door design and a unique locking system to prevent escapes and allow quick access to your pet. A raised bottom plate floor also allows the addition of a substrate heater and five-wire inlets ensure you can supplement your terrarium with everything from heat sensors to an Exo Terra Reptile Den.

    Mountainous foam backgrounds also ensure that Exo Terra Terrariums are the most authentic looking enclosures, making designing and decorating your space that little bit easier!

    Features

    • Front opening doors for quick access
    • Stainless steel mesh cover
    • Available in 9 other sizes!

    Specifications

    • Weight: 15.2 kg
    • Dimensions: 30 x 60 x 45 cm

    2.
    VivExotic Viva+ Arboreal Vivarium

    Whether you’ve got several reptiles who need a home or you just want to give your sole gecko a life of luxury, there’s few bigger terrariums out there than this.

    With a height of 3 foot, and length of 3ft 9″, this humongous glass-fronted structure offers plenty of opportunity for arboreal reptiles and those humans who want to get creative with their pet’s home.

    Thanks to the Front Flow aeration system, there are a series of vents that run across the length of the vivarium, bringing in a good flow of fresh cool air into the environment. These are higher than in previous models, which means that no matter how much substrate you use, they won’t become blocked.

    There are some Easy Vents at the rear of the vivarium as a new addition too; this gives you cable management while leaving space for plenty of overheated air to escape. Toughened safety glass will protect your pet and prevent escapes, and it is available in various finishes (with stands to match).

    Features

    • Toughened glass
    • Extra tall and wide
    • Plenty of ventilation

    Specifications

    • Weight: 34.9 kg
    • Dimensions: 115 x 61 x 91.5cm

    3.
    Vivexotic Repti-Home Vivarium

    Ideal for a whole host of different reptile species, Repti-Home units from Vivexotic make for a stunning, stand-alone habitat for your pet, or a multiple-roomed mansion thanks to their unique stackable design!

    Every Repti-Home comes with OneFix connectors, a high-grade plastic joining which helps fit the vivarium together in just 10-30 minutes! This offers a secure and stable home for your reptile in fewer fittings and allows you to easily add duplicate structures to the home with little to no effort.

    As an added source of security, the Repti-Home’s access doors also boast a safety glass material five times stronger than normal, featuring a blunt-shatter effect for the safety of your reptile. This means if your vivarium ever unexpectedly suffers damage, the glass will break into small blunt fragments as opposed to sharp, dangerous shards.

    But this vivarium is not only safety-conscious but environmentally-conscious too!

    For the eco-warrior owner, Vivexotic vivariums are made from entirely recycled sources of timber and FSC sustainable forests. This helps maintain forest biodiversity, productivity and ecological processes!

    That’s right… a wooden vivarium that helps save the trees!

    Features

    • Safety glass prevents injury or escape
    • Suitable for stacking
    • OneFix plastic connectors
    • Available in 2 smaller sizes

    Specifications

    • Weight: 16 kg
    • Dimensions: 115 x 42.1 x 37.5 cm

    4.
    Terapod Slim Vivarium

    Bearded dragons require a very different living environment to most other reptiles, and so those looking to purchase this increasingly popular pet must be careful when it comes to acquiring a suitable enclosure.

    Vivariums tend to be the best choice for your beardie, as they need a large amount of space and prefer dry-desert like conditions quite unlike the small foliage-filled space terrariums usually are.

    This Terapod Slim Vivarium is an idyllic pick, as it’s wooden cabinet design makes it better suited to a sprawling sand dune substrate and at 4ft in length, it offers plenty of areas to explore. Long-lengthed vivariums like this also make it simple to create varying levels of heat across the enclosure, allowing your pet to easily move up and down their vivarium to bask in warmth or cool off. This is a fairly critical feature for bearded dragons and one this Terapod can happily provide!

    Available in Beech, Walnut, Oak and Black colours, you can also choose the vivarium that best suits your home furnishings!

    Features

    • Fast and simple assembly
    • Two air vents for superb ventilation
    • Strong timber material
    • Available in 4 different wooden aesthetics

    Specifications

    • Weight: 21.4 kg
    • Dimensions: 12 x 45 x 140 cm

    5.
    Vividarium Tortoise Home

    Providing a fashionable and practical spin on the standard tortoise table, this so-called ‘vividarium’ is the perfect home for any shell-dweller!

    Winner of the ‘Best New Pet Product’ award at PATS 2016 (The UK’s biggest pet industry event), this vivarium comes in the form of a large tortoise – with an open-top shell for housing your ponderous pals in!

    But for everything it brings in aesthetics, it certainly doesn’t lack in features either!

    Unlike standard tortoise tables, this vivarium utilises a circular design which prevents the act of ‘chimneying’, a common occurrence in rectangular vivariums where tortoises attempt to climb the walls. This often leads to tortoises falling on their backs, which when under the heat source of a basking lamp, can be fatal.

    The vivarium is also made of high-quality materials, in particular, its waterproof, lightweight resin build which prevents the home from rotting and gives it a sleek surface that promotes quick cleaning. Its open-top design also provides maximum airflow and is scientifically proven to reduce the risk of respiratory infections associated with closed roof tortoise homes.

    Features

    • Innovative tortoise-shaped vivarium
    • Designed to accommodate basking lamps and clamp lamps
    • Circular design to prevent ‘chimneying’
    • In-built hideaway in tortoise head!

    Specifications

    • Weight: 16 kg
    • Dimensions: 100 x 64 x 82 cm

    6.
    Repti-Life Oak 4ft Vivarium

    As snakes aren’t particularly known for their love of open spaces or heights (ignoring the famous time they were on a plane), the best vivariums for our legless lizards tend to be low to the ground with plenty of extra room.

    However, snakes are still well known for their sneaky ways (see Genesis, The Bible), and so picking a vivarium that is both safe and escape-proof is still crucial for their welfare!

    Satisfying both these needs is the Repti-Life 4ft Vivarium, which as well as being incredibly large, also provides safety glass which far surpasses the recommended strength and safety standards in the UK. This ensures your pet is safe from injury and that they’re unlikely to mastermind a daring escape.

    Coming in a classic wooden cabinet form with sliding glass doors, Repti-Life vivariums are one of the few to be manufactured in the UK and are constructed of durable MFC wood. And as one of the few vivariums to come in a stylish black, your slitherer is sure to be the envy of the rest of the animal kingdom!

    Features

    • Specially designed locks to prevent escape
    • Extra-tall with high fixed windows for plenty of substrate space
    • Rock decoration provides climbing dimension
    • 5 wire inlets to help customisation

    Specifications

    • Weight: 34.9 kg
    • Dimensions: 45.7 x 61 x 91.4 cm

    7.
    Hagen Faunarium Reptile Vivarium

    For when you have to temporarily house a reptile if you are cleaning out its home, or just getting it up to the right temperature.

    This small plastic terrarium is great for transportation, or if you have a small animal which has just hatched and can’t yet be housed with the adults. It is nice and easy to clean and has a well ventilated, self-locking lid with a viewing and feeding window. This will prevent any escaped or accidents.

    It is also suitable for small animal nurseries, as a reptile breeding box, or if you are having to place one animal in quarantine.

    Features

    • Lightweight and easy to carry
    • Safe lock mechanism

    Specifications

    • Weight: 5kg
    • Dimensions: S 23 x 16 x 17, M 30 x 20 x 21, L 36 x 21 x 16cm

    8.
    Komodo Reptile Habitat

    A low-budget terrarium, with front or top opening and made almost entirely from glass which can really show everything off.

    Many professional herpetologists consider glass to have two important advantages over wooden vivaria; the ability to lose heat rapidly in order to correct the thermal gradient, and ability to routinely wash and thoroughly disinfect the habitat.

    Komodo habitats are ideal for both reptiles and amphibians. The top is extra strong but can be fully removed to give you full safe access to the unit. Full UVB can pass through it, too. You also get a free glass door lock, for extra security.

    Features

    • Easy to keep clean
    • Simple setup

    Specifications

    • Weight: 30kg
    • Dimensions: Various

    Buying Guide

    The Difference Between a Vivarium and Terrarium

    Although vivarium is the correct term to describe any reptile enclosure, you will often see glass reptile homes described as a terrarium (a type of container for glowing plants in).

    This is to help distinguish between the two different styles of vivarium explained below:

    A reptile terrarium is usually a tall, glass or plastic container, which can contain and care for plants. Much like a fish tank, it is accessed from its roof and is usually most suitable for smaller lizards and amphibians.

    A reptile vivarium usually comes in the form of a long wooden cabinet with a glass or plastic screen door for viewing and accessing your pet. Unlike a terrarium, these are not designed to be able to grow plants and are usually more suitable for large lizards like Bearded Dragons, as well as snakes.

    You may also consider purchasing a paludarium for certain amphibians, a kind of terrarium which also features aquatic elements.

    Choosing Between a Vivarium or Terrarium

    Technically, if your housing a reptile, you can happily choose between a glass terrarium or a wooden vivarium, as the size of the enclosure and what you put inside it is probably more crucial in helping your pet thrive.

    It’s when housing amphibians or tropical reptiles that it becomes crucial to choose a terrarium. This is because they may require aquatic elements or misting devices to provide rainforest-like moisture. A glass structure will, therefore, be far more waterproof than a wooden cabinet!

    Vivariums are also far easier to insulate, so for desert reptiles who enjoy basking, they can often make the better option.

    Before You Buy

    Reptile Type & Size

    Naturally, the most important thing when purchasing your reptile enclosure is understanding the full adult size your reptile can grow too, and making sure your vivarium is of sufficient size to accommodate it!

    The natural behaviour of your reptile also makes it easier to pick between typically low ceilinged vivariums and tall terrariums!

    Here is a guide to some of the most common reptile pets, and the amount of space they’ll need:

    Bearded Dragons – Requires a vivarium of around 4 feet in length.

    Leopard Gecko – Need medium 3ft vivarium for good insulation.

    Crested Gecko – Prefer terrariums of minimum 45cm height, for climbing.

    Chameleon – Largest terrariums available to provide moisture and climbing

    Terrestrial Snakes – Terrarium or vivarium, roughly just over half their total length in size to provide a small cosy space.

    Royal Python – Terrarium or vivarium, roughly just over half their total length in size to provide a small cosy space. This is usually 4ft for a python.

    Boa – Arboreal vivarium, provides extra height for climbing.

    Rainforest Frogs – Although differing between species, in general, they require a terrarium of 30 x 30 x 45cm at least

    Blue Tongue Skink – A vivarium of 4ft

    Tortoise – Tortoise table is usually more suitable than a vivarium, although a 4ft vivarium would still be suitable

    Make sure to thoroughly research your species of reptile to make sure the housing your considering will suitably support their needs!

    Other Buyers Ask...

    How do I keep a vivarium warm at night?

    The best way to heat up a reptile tank at night is with a red basking lamp. These lamps emit heat without producing light, meaning you can keep a vivarium suitably warm without lighting up the enclosure and disturbing your animal’s body clock!

    How do I keep a vivarium humid?

    If your pet prefers more humid conditions, the first thing to do is choose a glass terrarium, which will retain heat and water vapour better than a wooden vivarium.

    You’ll then need to think about what’s going into the terrarium, mainly choosing porous materials than can easily absorb moisture and won’t dry out. Deep, porous substrates and moss are the easiest way to do this!

    Now you have the materials, it’s up to you to create the climate your pet needs. Frequently misting your tank 2-3 times a day with spray or investing in a misting system will provide regular water vapour to the enclosure, increasing humidity levels.

    Then ensure your tank does not dry out or become merely aquatic by regularly checking the temperature. A thermometer and hydrometer are essential tools which can help you keep on top of this, and create your animal’s ideal living environment.