Ask a Vet

How Long Can Bearded Dragons Survive Without Heat?

Photo of author
Updated on

If you’re looking for information about how long bearded dragons can stay without heat, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this post, we’ll answer all your questions about this topic.

Bearded dragon on a wood

We’ll start off by explaining what heat is, why it matters, and how it affects bearded dragons.

Then we’ll discuss the different ways you can keep your bearded dragon warm.

Finally, we’ll finish up by answering some frequently asked questions.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat?

If you’ve never owned a bearded dragon before, you might not even know that they need heat to survive.

It’s not immediately clear why a lizard such as a bearded dragon would need a certain temperature level to survive, but there are good reasons for it.

Bearded dragons are reptiles native to Australia.

They can reach lengths of over 3 feet (1 meter) and weigh up to 20 pounds (9 kilograms).

These lizards are very social animals and often live together in large groups.

However, more importantly, bearded dragons are cold-blooded creatures, meaning they don’t produce their own body temperature.

This means they require external sources of warmth to regulate their internal temperatures.

The ideal temperature for bearded dragons ranges between 90 °F and 110 °F (32 °C – 43 °C), but they can survive at lower temperatures too.

The beards on a bearded dragon’s head help keep the lizard warm by trapping air around its neck and face.

As long as there is enough airflow, the beard will trap heat from the surrounding environment.

So, How Long Can They Go Without Heat?

As a general rule, bearded dragons can survive around 24 hours without sufficient heat.

However, this is only the case if their environmental temperature doesn’t drop below 65 °F (18 °C).

If your bearded dragon is left in an environment colder than a roughly ambient room temperature, they might only survive for a few hours.

It’s super important to maintain the correct temperature levels at different areas of your bearded dragon’s enclosure so follow these guidelines to keep yours safe:

What Temperature Should My Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure Be?

Interestingly, the temperatures at different points within your bearded dragon’s enclosure should be different.

This is because your bearded dragon should have different areas to move around to, depending on how they’re feeling.


Bearded dragons love basking directly under the heat of the lamp in their enclosure.

It’s pretty much the equivalent of sunbathing for humans!

As you might expect, this is the hottest part of the enclosure, and it should be kept around 100 °F – 110 °F (38 °C – 43 °C).

Hide Spot

Another important part of a bearded dragon’s enclosure is a hide spot or a generally cooler area for them to rest in when they get too hot.

This could be a small cubbyhole or a piece of wood for them to lay under.

This area should always be on the other side of the enclosure from the heat lamp, making it the coolest point.

It should be roughly 70 °F – 85 °F (21 °C – 29 °C).

Overnight Temperatures

As you may already know, it’s a good idea to turn off the heat lamp in your bearded dragon’s enclosure overnight.

Low-heat emitters are much better to use for your bearded dragon’s enclosure overnight because they keep them warm but offer cooler temperatures than during the day.

As long as the temperature doesn’t go below 65 °F – 70 °F (18 °C – 20 °C), you should have no problems with your bearded dragon’s health.

Of course, the temperature will continue to drop after you turn off the heat lamp, so it’s a good idea to check the temperature in the middle of the night the first time you try it, just to be safe.

Overall Temperatures

In general, the average temperature of your bearded dragon’s enclosure should be around 90 °F (32 °C) during the day.

This is the best way to ensure your little friend stays comfortable in their enclosure and maintains a good level of health.

Top Tips For Bearded Dragon Enclosures

Bearded dragon on sand

When it comes to keeping your bearded dragon warm, you need to make sure that it has access to an adequate amount of space to move around freely.

If you place it in a small enclosure or cage, it may not have enough room to move around and get comfortable.

You should also provide your bearded dragon with plenty of places to hide during the day.

A burrow or den would be great because this gives them somewhere safe to retreat when they feel threatened.

If you want to give your bearded dragon more freedom to roam around, then you should consider providing them with a larger enclosure.

You’ll find that they enjoy exploring new things and getting out into the fresh air more often.

Finally, remember to regularly clean your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

This helps remove any waste build-up which can cause illness.

How To Check The Temperature Of Your Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure

To check the temperature of your bearded dragon’s enclosure, you can use a digital thermometer.

These devices come in various sizes and shapes, including handheld ones and those that can sit inside the enclosure.

The most common type of thermometer used by reptile owners is the digital one.

They’re easy to use and relatively inexpensive.

The best thing about these thermometers is that they take readings every five minutes, so you can see how your bearded dragon’s enclosure changes throughout the day.

Another option is to buy a remote thermometer.

These are usually battery-powered and can be placed outside the enclosure.

They work by sending infrared signals through the enclosure’s walls and measuring the air’s temperature.

These types of thermometers are useful if you don’t have access to a digital thermometer.

However, they aren’t as accurate as the other options available.

It’s important that you read the instructions on the back of the device before using it.

JEDEW 2-Pack Mini Hygrometer Thermometer

Jedew 2-pack mini hygrometer thermometer digital lcd monitor indoor/outdoor humidity meter gauge temperature for humidifiers dehumidifiers greenhouse reptile humidor fahrenheit(℉)/ celsius(℃)

This product is easily one of the best on the market for monitoring and controlling the temperature and environment in your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

It runs on a single battery, which is included with the product and will last plenty of time before needing to be replaced.

The thermometer can provide accurate, up-to-date temperature readings in Fahrenheit or Celsius, depending on what you prefer.

However, the really great thing about this particular product is the fact that it also has a humidity reader, which will give you the percentage of humidity in the enclosure.

There really isn’t a better way to closely and carefully monitor the conditions of your bearded dragon’s enclosure than this.

JEDEW 2-Pack Mini Hygrometer Thermometer Digital LCD Monitor Indoor/Outdoor Humidity Meter Gauge Temperature for Humidifiers Dehumidifiers Greenhouse Reptile Humidor Fahrenheit(℉)/ Celsius(℃)
  • 1-Applicable for home, office, car, schools, hotels, laboratories, kindergartens, aquaculture, instrument workshop, libraries, schools, factories and places equipped with air condition, etc.
  • 2-Fahrenheit (°F) or Celsius (°C) conversion, Temperature accuracy +/-1°C(+/-2°F), Humidity accuracy +/-5%RH.
  • 3-This portable hygrometer thermometer Measures Indoor humidity and temperature in time, help to adjust the humidifier, dehumidifier settings and humidistats, great for monitoring family's living conditions and health by preventing colds, dry skin, asthma, mold.
  • 4-Fast response that measures every 10 seconds with 24 sensitive VENTS to provide updated and accurate readings, wide measuring range: work temperature from 0℃ to 70℃(+32°F ~ +158°F), work humidity from 10% to 99% RH.
  • 5-Mini round digital humidity thermometer allows you to easily know the environment temperature and humidity. Small, Durable and Portable enough for saving space and carrying around.
Check Price on Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/18/2024 02:24 am GMT

Frequently Asked Questions

Will A Bearded Dragon Die If It Gets Cold?

Unfortunately, bearded dragons can actually die if they become too cold for too long.

Because they are cold-blooded creatures, bearded dragons need a certain level of heat around them to keep their organs and other vital parts working properly.

Without this level of heat, a bearded dragon would be unable to move or eat, resulting eventually in death.

How Can I Keep My Bearded Dragon Warm Without A Heat Lamp?

The best way to keep your bearded dragon’s enclosure warm is with a heat lamp, but there are other methods you could try out.

Pillows, blankets, and clothes can be placed inside or over the top of your pet’s enclosure, trapping warm air inside and keeping the ambient temperature high.

You could even use hot water bottles if you’re really in a pinch!

How Can I Tell If My Bearded Dragon Is Too Cold?

As we mentioned earlier, low temperatures in a bearded dragon’s enclosure can stop their vital bodily functions from working, including movement.

Therefore, if you see your pet moving slower than they normally do, it’s usually a good indication that their enclosure is too cold.


As you can tell by now, it’s super important to maintain a high temperature in your bearded dragon’s enclosure.

If they’re left in an environment colder than 65 °F for more than 24 hours, there’s a good chance they could die from getting too cold.

Instead, just follow the simple steps we’ve outlined in this article, and your little buddy will be loving life!

Photo of author
About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.