Should You Use Reptile Carpet (Pros and Cons)

By Last Updated: February 17th, 2023Categories: Pet Products

If you are into reptiles such as bearded dragons, snakes, iguanas, etc., and you want them as pets, it is your responsibility to provide a comfortable shelter. You can do this by putting your beloved pet in an enclosure where it can lie safe and sound. But for our reptile friends,  a good enclosure needs a reliable substrate– the surface on which your pet can live, eat, etc.

Of course, you can use substrates such as wooden/coco fibers, beech chips, desert sands, and bark substrates. However, many people talk about reptile carpets as a good alternative if you don’t want to use organic materials. Well, others say it’s a bad idea to get one.

To clear this debate once and for all, we’ve prepared this article for you to know the truth and the pros/cons of reptile carpets.

Part 1: What Is Reptile Carpet

When people don’t want to use substrates in reptile enclosures, they usually turn to the use of reptile carpets. A reptile carpet acts as a liner that can be placed at the base of the enclosure; it can be used together with a substrate, too. Preferably, on top of a loose substrate.

Reptile Carpet Sample

Reptile carpets are really popular because they come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and types of material. So, there are many choices one can choose from to match the enclosure for your reptile friend. Most commonly, the materials used to make reptile carpets are recycled plastics and other synthetic fibers. And you don’t have to worry about chemical harm as such carpets are ensured to be non-toxic.

Part 2: What Are The Advantages of Using A Reptile Carpet

Many people use reptile carpets because of their advantages. If you are planning to use one, it’s important that you know the following positive points so you’d know whether or not your reptile pet or bearded dragon can really benefit from a reptile carpet.

Easily Shaped

Yes! You can shape the reptile carpet depending on the size and shape of the container or enclosure. You can even trace the enclosure on it to get the exact size. This is particularly important if you have an enclosure that’s customized. You may do the cutting yourself or let someone do it for you.

Eliminates Impaction

Impaction is pretty common among our reptile buddies, especially when the substrate is made of stones or sand. They can accidentally ingest them when they are eating their food. To avoid such accidents, using a reptile carpet can be a wise option.

Reptile Carpet Bearded Dragon

Appealing to Eyes

As mentioned, reptile carpets come in different shapes, colors, and sizes. They can be easily shaped, too. This means that you can match the carpet to the enclosure and the other design elements inside it. It can give you a more aesthetically-looking shelter for your beloved reptile buddy.


Because reptile carpets are made of washable materials, you can always reuse them after four or more washes, as long as there is no damage or them. In fact, they can even be machine washed if you don’t want to manually clean them. This can surely save a few bucks.

Widely Available

Since reptile carpets are popular, they are readily available in almost all exotic pet shops. You may even order one online if you have no time to shop in a physical store.

Part 3: What Are The Downsides of Reptile Carpets

Besides the many advantages you can get from using a reptile carpet, there are a few red flags that you must know. This way, you can weigh the risks and benefits and decide what’s best for your reptile pet.

Cleaning Difficulty

A reptile carpet or cage carpet may be reusable or washable, but it often becomes a challenge when it comes to cleaning. Your pet may make a mess on a daily basis, and it might not look good on the carpet. So, you may be forced to clean it every day. There are also times when the waste leaves stains that are so difficult to remove.

Therefore, regular cleaning must be maintained, which is kind of a hassle if you’re a busy person.

Cleaning Reptile Carpet

If you can’t clean the reptile carpet regularly, you can risk having biofilm on it and in the cage. Biofilm is formed from the liquid parts of a reptile’s feces. It’s basically a layer of microorganisms and bacteria that feels slimy, which makes it difficult for normal soaps to remove.

When this occurs, you’d need a solution that’s specifically made for removing biofilm and that’s a huge hassle.

And since reptile carpets are made of woven fibers, it’s likely the dust, dirt, and fecal material can get stuck between them if you’re not cleaning regularly. That could promote an unpleasant odor, which makes cleaning difficult without wearing a mask.

Risk of Bacteria

Since reptile carpets are difficult to clean, you may become unable to clean them regularly. This can create a high risk of bacteria. Some food and waste may decay and cause the bacteria to propagate. With this, your reptile friend will be at risk of developing illness or suffering from infections.

Aside from that, you may risk pathogen transference if you ever wash the reptile carpet with the machine that you use for your clothes. The bacteria can stick to the machine and when you do your laundry, they can transfer to your clothes and later on to your skin. How horrifying!

Claw Trap

A reptile carpet can be a trap, especially if you have reptiles with claws. Their claws are just too sharp that they can easily penetrate the fibers of the carpet. This can cause them to get stuck for long periods of time, which may cause circulation issues in their toes. If they struggle, they may get injured as well.

Conclusion: Should You Use A Reptile Carpet

Now that you know all the positives and negatives of a reptile carpet, it will be easier for you to decide if you need it. However, as per our experience with such products, we do not recommend its use especially if you have a bearded dragon.

It is true that using a liner can prevent accidental ingestion of substrates like tiny rocks, but the risk of accidents is just too high to ignore. Such a reptile possesses sharp claws that could easily get stuck in the carpet, which may cause unwanted injuries.


You need to spot-clean the reptile carpet every day to ensure there are no food residues and waste. Aside from that, experts recommend conducting deep cleaning once a week. This can help reduce the risk of bacteria.

The best material for an enclosure if you have a bearded dragon is glass. Glass terrariums are known to be solid and much more attractive to the eyes. Not to mention, it’s the most practical option if you want to observe your reptile friend and to know if it’s doing fine.