Bearded dragons often know how to regulate their own body temperature. Therefore, a dragon knows when it needs to bask, and when to move to a cooler area if getting too warm. Thus, it is very important to provide a proper temperature gradient for them to regulate body temperature.

What is the lowest temperature a bearded dragon can possibly survive? Bearded dragons ought to always have direct access to a heat source during the day. A bearded dragon should not live without heat longer than 24 hours, or else health problems might occur.

The following information will be attempting to answer the question of what the lowest temperature a bearded dragon can survive is:

  • ideal temperatures for a baby bearded dragon (newborn – 5 months old)
  • proper temperatures for a juvenile dragon (6 months – 18 months old)
  • proper temperatures for adult dragon (over 18 months old)
  • nighttime temperatures
  • creating a temperature gradient for your enclosure
  • can bearded dragons live without heat?
  • how long can bearded dragons live without getting heat?
  • what can you do if you can’t get a new heat bulb very quickly?
  • should you take your dragon to a vet afterward?
  • devices for heating your enclosures

Proper Temperatures for Your Baby Bearded Dragon (Newborn – 5 Months Old)

The ambient temperatures within the enclosure for a baby dragon should stay at least 80°F (26°C) to 85°F (29°C). Likewise, a basking area should have temperatures ranging between 95°F (35°C) to 110°F (43°C). However, on the opposite side of the enclosure, the temperatures should be slightly cooler and range between 80°F (26°C) to 90°F (32°C).

Temperature Areas
Ideal Temperature Range

Basking Area
95°F – 110°F

Cool-down Area
80°F – 90°F

Proper Temperatures for Your Juvenile Bearded Dragon (6 Months – 18 Months Old)

Juvenile dragons require temperatures slightly cooler, ranging from 95°F (35°C) to 100°F (40°C) in the basking area. You should keep the cooler region around 80°F (26°C) to 90°F (32°C).

Temperature Areas
Ideal Temperature Range

Basking Area
95°F – 100°F

Cool-down Area
80°F – 90°F

Proper Temperatures for Your Adult Bearded Dragon (Over 18 Months Old)

Adult dragons can have slightly cooler basking areas with temperatures ranging between 90°F (32°C) to 93°F (33°C). The cooler area of the enclosure should be kept at 80°F (26°C) to 90°F (32°C), just as with babies and juveniles.

Temperature Areas
Ideal Temperature Range

Basking Area
90°F – 93°F

Cool-down Area
80°F – 90°F

Nighttime Temperatures

The nighttime temperatures ought to drop to 72°F (32°C) to 80°F (26°C) within the enclosure. If the temperatures drop below this after turning the heat and light sources off at night, then you may need to use a heating device that does not emit light to supplement heat.


Make use of high quality thermometers in the basking area and in the cooler zones to constantly monitor temperature levels.

Likewise, you should provide a good hygrometer within the terrarium to monitor humidity levels. You certainly want to keep the humidity levels around 35% – 40%, but never over 55% inside the terrarium.

Creating a Temperature Gradient

There should be a very consistent temperature gradient across the entire terrarium. Also, the hottest point should be directly under the basking element and the coolest area on the opposite end of the enclosure.

The temperature should be the warmest in the basking zones while cooling slowly into the coolest zone. A thermostat particularly designed for use with terrariums will help regulate consistent temperatures.

Can Your Bearded Dragon Live Without Heat?

No, dragons can´t live without heat. Bearded dragons and other reptiles are cold-blooded, which means that they actually need an external heat source to get their body on the temperature in order to function properly.

What does this mean? Well, if your bearded dragon does not have access to any heat source, it definitely won´t be able to move properly. That also means that your dragon is not able to hunt and even other body functions are not able to work as they should.

Thus, the worst thing is that they are not able to digest their food. And if food remains in a bearded dragon´s stomach for too long, it will start to rot and I think I do not need to tell you that this can have severe consequences.

The colder the ambient temperature is, the worse all the things mentioned above get. In other words, if the ambient temperature in the room where the dragon tank is placed is around 77 °F (25 °C) it is not that bad. Despite that, your bearded dragon will still be able to move, to eat and even to digest. Even though the dragon’s body will not work as it would if it would have had the chance to heat up under the basking spot.

Therefore, the lower the temperature in the reptile room is, the less will your bearded dragon´s body be able to work. At a certain (low) temperature your dragon won´t even wake up and just continue to sleep.

How Long can Your Bearded Dragon Live Without Heat?

As discussed earlier, you don´t want to leave your bearded dragon without heat for too long, but how long is it okay?

It is safe to say that you should not leave your bearded dragon without any heat source for more than 24 hours. If the worst happens the food will start to rot in its stomach and that is the worst thing that can happen.

Thus, if your bearded dragon is without heat for just a couple of hours, you do not have to be worried. That´s very okay. However, you should make sure that your bearded dragon has a normal diurnal cycle, but if your heat bulb burned out and you need some hours to get a new one, stay relaxed.

What Can You Do if You Can´t Get a New Heat Bulb Quickly for Your Bearded Dragon?

That´s the worst case certainly, but it can happen. You definitely want to do something to get your dragon on temperature at least for a couple of hours.

Try to use any heat source you can get to get your dragon on temperature. In fact, if you have a heat mat that you are using for other reptiles, you can take that and use it for your bearded dragon a couple of hours.
Also, if you do not have any other reptiles and you don´t have a heat source similar to that, you can as well use water bottles with warm water and lay your bearded dragon on it.

Surprisingly, some people even use grain pillows to make sure that their bearded dragon gets warm in such a situation. You just have to make sure that your dragon doesn´t get burned. Ensure that the pillow is not extremely hot or that the water bottles are not too hot.

Likewise, warm baths can help as well, but I don´t really recommend it. The bearded dragon has to be rubbed dry afterward, or else its body temperature will drop even further.

Do You Have to Take Your Bearded Dragon To a Vet Afterwards?

That highly depends on how long your dragon has been without heat. If your bearded dragon was without heat for just a couple of hours, imagine 5 hours, there is absolutely no need to visit a reptile vet.
However, if your bearded dragon was without heat for more than 24 hours you have to keep an eye on your bearded dragon.

Is it moving as it’s supposed to? Was it able to excrete?  Is it eating and drinking properly? Any weird behavior could mean that your dragon is not feeling well and that there might be a problem.

After such a long time without heat, you should give your dragon time to wake up properly before you start to worry.

Devices for Heating Your Enclosure

Heat Basking Lamps

Heat basking lamps are incandescent bulbs designed to provide radiant heat for your dragon. They can range in size from 10 watts up to 150 watts and they come in different variations.

Thus, for bearded dragons, we recommend to use bulbs designed for baskings, such as the Zoo Med Repti Basking Bulb, or the Exo Terra Intense Basking Spot Bulb. Both bulbs are certainly excellent choices for incandescent-style basking bulbs.

Likewise, there is the Exo Terra Halogen Basking Spot Bulb which has a much longer usage life over incandescent bulbs. The downside to using halogen bulbs is becoming really hot. Ensure to use extra caution when using halogen bulbs due to the extra heat.

Also, use basking bulbs with a dome-style fixture that includes a high heat ceramic socket. Mount the dome-style lamp fixture onto a lampstand which enables the bulb to safely hang over the enclosure.

Mercury Vapor Bulbs

Mercury Vapor bulbs supply UVA/UVB radiation and is a good heat source. This is considered a viable option in order to reduce the number of bulbs needed in order to provide both basking heat and ultraviolet radiation.

Ceramic Heat Emitters

Ceramic heat emitters give off radiant heat, but do not give any visible light. Mount heat emitters in a light fixture in a similar way to basking or Mercury Vapor bulbs.

These devices typically provide supplement heat, or nighttime heat. Ceramic heat emitters are considered to be ideal for nighttime use due to the lack of visible light.

Nighttime Bulbs

Nighttime bulbs enhance a nighttime environment. Bearded dragons spend the entire night time hours snoozing and resting, much like humans. This type of bulb also very much supports nocturnal activity.

Also, nighttime bulbs are usually incandescent bulbs with lower wattages, and supply some heat while providing very little light. This light is not visible to a dragon.

Ceramic heat emitters and undertank heat pads can also provide small amounts of heat without producing disturbing light.

Undertank Heat Pads

Undertank Heat Pads are flat pads that stick to the bottom, or side, of a terrarium and give off low gradient heat. Substrate heaters supply supplemental heat from below, or to warm the substrate.

Undertank heaters are a good option to use to enhance heat and warm the substrate during cold winter months.

Heat Rocks

Heat rocks are heating elements which are similar to realistic rocks and provide radiant heat. The dragon may sustain burns on the belly when laying on a heat rock, but they are widely sold in the pet market. However, ensure to avoid the use of heat rocks.