Bearded Dragon Humidity: The Ultimate Guide

Bearded Dragon Humidity

Bearded dragons are easy to care for when you’ve got the proper setup and enough time. There are only a handful of things bearded dragon owners need to pay attention to, and one of them is the enclosure humidity.

So, how much humidity for bearded dragons is ok?

A bearded dragon’s tank should have a relative humidity of between 35% and 40%. Any levels out of this range can cause problems for their health. Therefore, monitoring humidity is essential – as is rectifying it when it’s outside the ideal humidity range.

In this guide, we’ll talk you through why it’s important to measure humidity levels for bearded dragons and how to lower humidity or raise humidity when it falls out of the range.

Bearded Dragon’s Ideal Humidity

Bearded dragons’ native environment is the arid, wild Australian outback. This means we need to recreate the humidity levels of this area when we keep bearded dragons as pets. Doing this will ensure they are in optimal health and are happy too.

The relative humidity of a bearded dragon’s tank should be between 35% and 40% to mimic its natural environment as closely as possible.

This is similar to the dry and hot Australian inland regions where beardies live in the wild.

Suppose humidity levels fall out of this region. In that case, there can be health implications for your bearded dragon, including severe respiratory problems.

How to Monitor Humidity for Bearded Dragons

Before bringing any pet bearded dragon into your home, you must invest in an accurate and reliable hygrometer.

This instrument measures humidity in confined spaces (like a reptile tank) or in the soil or air. Hygrometers are calibrated to measure RH (relative humidity). In addition, they measure the amount of water vapor in a percentage relevant to the maximum temperature.

There are two basic types of hygrometers:

  • a mechanical hygrometer
  • a psychrometer

You don’t need to know how they work to be able to use them, but it is interesting, nevertheless. Understanding how hygrometers function means you’ll be confident using one for the readings.

Mechanical Hygrometer

This device uses fibers or hairs to measure changes in humidity. You can even get ones that connect to a smartphone for monitoring in real-time.


This hygrometer has two thermometers – a dry bulb and a wet bulb.

The psychrometer measures the changes in temperature between the two bulbs. As moisture in the tank air evaporates, the temperature will decrease. This will be shown on the wet bulb.

Why Is It Important to Maintain Humidity Levels for Bearded Dragons?

As previously mentioned, bearded dragons naturally live in an arid climate. As a result, their bodies have evolved to work best in this environment. Anything too different means they can suffer.

What Happens if The Humidity Is Too High?

If the relative humidity is too high for bearded dragons, they will be uncomfortable. On the other hand, if no effort is made to lower humidity, they can develop respiratory problems like respiratory infection or other ailments. In the short term, this will impact their health. However, it can also lead to an early death if not rectified.

For these reasons, it’s essential to keep monitoring and maintaining the living environment of your bearded dragon’s tank. For example, ensuring the relative humidity levels are perfect will keep your lizard comfortable and happy while preventing respiratory problems.

Moisture on Glass in High Humidity

High Humidity Consequences

Excess moisture in the air doesn’t just cause respiratory problems. Here are some other issues that are a result of high humidity:

  • Bacterial infection and overgrowth
  • Fungal infections
  • Skin conditions
  • Mold growth

It is essential to prevent all of these issues. Not only are these problems ones that require injections, medications, or veterinary care, but they can lead to premature death too.

How to Lower Humidity in Your Bearded Dragon’s Tank

It can be tricky to keep the humidity level stable – especially for first-time bearded dragon owners. So if you notice something amiss, it’s essential to know how to deal with it.

When there is excess moisture, you need to know ways to lower humidity.

The main ways to lower humidity in a bearded dragon tank are:

  • Increasing ventilation
  • Moving the water dish away from the heat lamp
  • Changing substrate type
  • Stop any misting until levels are normal
  • Use a dehumidifier

Let’s take a look at how to do this in more detail:

Increasing Ventilation

When you need to lower humidity, the first thing you should try is increasing the ventilation of your bearded dragon tank. This can be difficult for glass tanks, and it’s advised that you don’t use a full plastic or glass cover. Switching to mesh will help.

Other things you can do to increase ventilation include adjusting your air conditioning (if temperatures are the problem), turning on a fan, or opening windows. It could be that you have to move the bearded dragon tank to another room with a better humidity level.

Don’t forget that live plants tend to increase the humidity near where they are. So removing them or moving them to another spot in the tank will help to get the relative humidity under control.

This also accounts for live plants in the tank’s room, not just the ones inside the enclosure.

If problems persist, it might mean investing in specialist fans or vents to help maintain the temperature and humidity levels. It can also help to put the basking area and hide box area with enough space surrounding them so that humid air can escape.

Move the Water Dish Away from The Heat Source

As you’re probably aware, your bearded dragon tank should have a warmer and cooler side. If you notice humidity climbing, ensure that you have moved their water dish away from the warmer side and the heat sources.

The best place to put the water dish is beside the tank’s walls.

This is a simple yet effective way to solve a high humidity level in the tank.

This is because water evaporates more readily when the water bowl is under the heat source, so the air will absorb the moisture, thus increasing humidity.

The water bowl shouldn’t be put under or near any lights.

You should also avoid large water dish sizes. The humidity will rise naturally if too much water is in an enclosed area. It’s better to have a smaller water bowl that you can check and refill often.

Change Substrate Type

Certain substances are much more likely to retain moisture and increase humidity levels in the tank. The worst substrates for this are coconut fiber and bark.

We’re not saying to avoid these substrates. Still, if you have a recurring problem with high humidity, you might need to consider a switch. But, again, your bearded dragon’s health should be prioritized when setting up the enclosure.

Stop Any Misting until Levels Are Normal

When you take on looking after a bearded dragon, you learn that you’re supposed to mist their tank and them occasionally. However, this does affect the humidity for bearded dragons.

If you’re constantly finding the humidity is too high, try to refrain from any misting until you have got the levels within the normal range again.

Use a Dehumidifier

If all else fails, you can consider getting a dehumidifier. Most owners can lower humidity without using a dehumidifier, but it is always an option.

Most people who resort to using a dehumidifier live in areas with naturally high humidity.

Dehumidifier used to reduce the humidity

What Happens if The Humidity Is Too Low?

Low humidity in a bearded dragon tank can cause as many health issues as high humidity for bearded dragons. Here are some problems if the tank humidity is too high.

  • Blocked femoral pores
  • Unable to shed
  • Dehydration
  • UTIs (urinary tract infections)
  • Kidney issues
  • Females unable to lay eggs

All these conditions are serious and will mean a trip to the vet. Blocked femoral pores, for example, can turn into a painful infection. If a bearded dragon can’t shed, he can have circulation problems, including losing digits or limbs. This is particularly important with baby and juvenile bearded dragons, who shed frequently. Finally, kidney problems and dehydration can result in death.

All in all, low humidity should be avoided, just like excess humidity.

How to Increase Humidity in Bearded Dragon Tanks

Suppose your hygrometer readings indicate that there is not enough of a humid environment in the tank. In that case, you’ll need to work to resolve it for the above reasons.

There are many ways to increase humidity levels in your bearded dragon cage. These include:

  • Putting the water bowl near the warmer side of the tank
  • Misting more frequently
  • Adding plants

Essentially, these are some things you avoid doing if your humidity levels are too high! Let’s look at each one in more detail:

Putting Their Water Dish Near the Warmer Side of The Tank

Just like you avoided placing water on the warm side when humidity levels were high, now you’ve got low humidity; you’ll need to do this. This quick and easy fix might just solve your humidity levels problem.

Misting More Frequently

When humidity levels are low, try misting the tank walls more often. This will quickly increase humidity levels and keep your beardie happy too.

Bearded dragons seek out hiding places with naturally higher humidity when in their natural habitat. As a result, they’re often seen near water with high temperatures but low humidity. This helps them to restore any lost moisture.

A misting bottle is an easy way to refresh things when the air is too dry. You can even mist your dragon gentle in these situations.

It is recommended to use purified water if you can. This will prevent mineral deposits from building up and keep the tank cleaner.

Adding Plants

Lots of plants generate moisture naturally, which goes into the air. You can help restore humidity levels by adding a few plants to the tank. This can work quite quickly.

Plants are easy to move too, so if you end up with too many and have the opposite problem, you can move them again.

When you have plants, you can also mist them, retaining moisture well. Therefore, they help increase humidity levels.

Put It Into Practice

Now you know all about humidity in bearded dragon tanks, it’s time to sort out your problems.

Most expert reptile owners advise getting two humidity gauges. This is because your bearded dragon tank will have cool and warm sides, so you’ll need to measure humidity levels on both sides.

Just because one place in your tank is ok, it doesn’t mean everywhere is ok! Also, having two means you’ve always got a backup if one breaks. The last thing you want is your bearded dragon to suffer because you didn’t notice the gauge was broken.

Where to Place the Humidity Gauges

With your two gauges, you know to put them on different sides of the enclosure. But where exactly?

It is recommended to put one humidity gauge half the way up on the cool side wall and one halfway up on the back wall of the vivarium. This will give you a good idea of the bearded dragon humidity levels throughout the tank.

They shouldn’t go near the water bowl or basking lamp (hot side) as these places will give you a false reading.

Humidity and Temperature Gauges

Bear in Mind that Things Fluctuate

It’s important to note that humidity levels vary depending on the time of day and the temperatures in the home. It also varies depending on the time of year too. So you shouldn’t worry if you notice the fluctuating humidity levels.

You need to glance at the gauges daily to ensure they’re within the correct range. If they’re not, you can try some of the previously mentioned tricks to raise humidity levels or lower them.

Basic Bearded Dragon’s Enclosure Guidelines for A Perfect Setup

As well as measuring and maintaining humidity in a bearded dragon tank, you need to ensure it is set up correctly in the first place. Here are some things to bear in mind.

A bearded dragon tank needs proper airflow. Air circulation is vital for humidity control.

To have this airflow, the top of the tank should not be solid.

Having a vent low at the bottom of the tank is also a good idea. This means the airflow will be constant, and the temperatures and humidity will be more stable.

Final Thoughts on Humidity in A Bearded Dragon Tank

When you get a bearded dragon, you take on the responsibility to ensure he has a long and healthy life.

One thing you need to do is keep on top of the humidity inside the enclosure. This is because if there are incorrect humidity levels, your bearded dragon could suffer health issues like bacterial infections and respiratory infections, among other things.

Bearded dragon enclosures need to replicate the natural bearded dragon habitat as far as possible.

Therefore, it’s essential to take humidity readings daily using a digital hygrometer to measure humidity in different parts of the enclosure.

This is because the hot side will naturally be more humid than the cool side, so measuring in two places will give you a sense of the overall humidity.

Suppose you notice the humidity isn’t in the ideal range (35% to 30%). In that case, you’ll need to change to either decrease humidity or increase it.

To reduce humidity, remove plants, move the water dish, use a shallow water dish, and ensure there is no fixed roof on glass tanks. You could also use a dehumidifier. 

You might also want to change from a loose substrate to a reptile carpet. This is because loose substrate can retain moisture in your bearded dragon’s tank.

To raise the humidity, use a spray bottle to mist the tank, add plants (make sure they’re live plants!) to your beardie’s tank, and place their water dish closer to the heat source.

Finally, avoid putting the tank in direct sunlight as this will increase temperatures and humidity very quickly.

Equally, being next to a draughty window will allow cold air into the tank, lowering the temperatures and humidity in winter.

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