Keeping Your Bearded Dragon Cool: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Thermometer

When it comes to keeping your bearded dragon cool, the right thermometer is as essential as a good sunscreen on a scorching summer day. In this guide, we'll dive into the world of thermometers, exploring the various types available, their pros and cons, and how to choose the best one for your scaly friend.

The Importance of a Good Thermometer

Picture this: you're lounging on a beach, sipping a cool drink, and soaking up the sun. Sounds perfect, right? Now imagine doing the same thing, but without any idea of how hot it is. Not so perfect anymore, is it? That's exactly how your bearded dragon feels without a reliable thermometer.

Bearded dragons, like all reptiles, are ectothermic. This fancy term simply means they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, it can lead to health problems, stress, and even death. Hence, a good thermometer is not just a luxury; it's a necessity.

Types of Thermometers

When it comes to thermometers, there's no shortage of options. But not all thermometers are created equal. Let's take a look at the most common types and their pros and cons.

Digital Thermometers

Digital thermometers are the tech-savvy cousin of the traditional mercury thermometer. They provide quick and accurate readings, and some models even come with a handy alarm feature that alerts you if the temperature goes beyond a certain range. However, they can be a bit pricey, and the batteries need to be replaced regularly.

Despite these minor drawbacks, digital thermometers are a popular choice among bearded dragon owners. They're easy to read, reliable, and let's be honest, who doesn't love a good gadget?

Stick-on Thermometers

Stick-on thermometers, also known as strip thermometers, are the budget-friendly option. They're easy to use - just stick them on the inside of the tank and voila! You have a temperature reading. However, they're not as accurate as digital thermometers, and they only measure the temperature of the surface they're stuck on, not the air temperature.

While they're not the best choice for a primary thermometer, they can be useful as a secondary thermometer to monitor the temperature in different parts of the tank.

Infrared Thermometers

Infrared thermometers, also known as temperature guns, are the James Bond of thermometers. They measure temperature by detecting the infrared energy emitted by an object. This means you can measure the temperature of any spot in the tank without actually touching it. How cool is that?

However, like all cool gadgets, they come with a hefty price tag. They're also not the best choice for measuring air temperature. But if you want to feel like a secret agent while taking care of your bearded dragon, this is the thermometer for you.

Choosing the Right Thermometer

Now that we've covered the different types of thermometers, let's talk about how to choose the right one for your bearded dragon.


The most important factor to consider when choosing a thermometer is accuracy. An inaccurate thermometer is like a broken compass - it might point you in a direction, but it's not the right one. Digital thermometers are generally the most accurate, followed by infrared thermometers and stick-on thermometers.


While we all want the best for our scaly friends, budget is a factor. If you're on a tight budget, a stick-on thermometer might be the best option. However, if you can afford to splurge a bit, a digital or infrared thermometer is a better choice.


Another factor to consider is convenience. If you're a busy person, a thermometer with an alarm feature might be a lifesaver. On the other hand, if you enjoy the process of taking care of your bearded dragon and don't mind a bit of extra work, a simple digital thermometer will do the job.


What is the ideal temperature for a bearded dragon?

The ideal temperature for a bearded dragon depends on the time of day and the part of the tank. During the day, the basking spot should be between 95-110°F (35-43°C), while the cooler end of the tank should be around 85°F (29°C). At night, the temperature can drop to around 70°F (21°C).

How often should I check the temperature?

You should check the temperature at least once a day. However, if you notice your bearded dragon acting strangely, it's a good idea to check the temperature immediately.

Where should I place the thermometer?

The thermometer should be placed in the basking spot, as this is the hottest part of the tank. However, it's also a good idea to have a second thermometer at the cooler end of the tank to ensure the temperature gradient is correct.


Choosing the right thermometer for your bearded dragon is a crucial part of their care. Whether you opt for a digital, stick-on, or infrared thermometer, the most important thing is to ensure it's accurate and reliable. After all, a cool dragon is a happy dragon!

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