UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

7 Best Beddings For Iguanas

Beddings for iguanas is one of the most important things you should take into consideration while setting up their habitat. This is because using the right beddings will make your iguana comfortable, reduce stress, and enhance its health.

Iguanas are a suitable pet if you are looking for a unique and interesting pet. All you need is to provide special care for your iguana to keep them happy and healthy. One of the most important choices you will need to make is choosing bedding for your iguana’s enclosure.

There are several beddings out there when you plan to choose a substrate for your iguana. Although some products are marketed as reptile bedding, not all bedding is safe for iguanas. This is where you need to research the best bedding for your iguana.

In this article, we will answer all your questions when it comes to iguana bedding, from which bedding is suitable for your iguana to those you should avoid.

Why Do People Need To Provide Beddings For Iguanas?

Using a substrate or bedding will help to make the iguana comfortable in their cage, especially when housing them in a cage with a hard floor. Furthermore, bedding will help soak up any spills or liquids to make it easier for owners to clean the tank.

Using a substrate will also ensure that an iguana does not become dirty or smelly, especially if you clean it regularly. Another thing is that some substrates are anti-bacterial, and it helps keep your iguana healthy.

Buyer’s Guide: What To Look For In A Good Bedding?

You need to consider several things when choosing good bedding to help ensure your iguana is happy and healthy. Some of the things that you need to consider are stated below.


There are two major types of substrates for reptiles, namely, true substrate and flooring. A true substrate is made with natural materials found in the wild like alfalfa, coconut fiber, cypress mulch, etc. However, flooring is made of vinyl and plastic, and it does not provide a space for your reptile to dig into.

A true substrate will help make your iguana habitat look more natural, and there will be something to dig into. However, it can become messier, and you will have to replace it regularly, unlike flooring that can be easily cleaned and can last years.

All you have to do is choose between these two substrates based on how you want your iguana habitat to look. You can even decide to combine the two substrates.

Safe For Iguanas

As a responsible pet owner, it is your responsibility to select a safe and chemical-free substrate for your pet. When choosing a substrate, you need to go for a substrate that will not make your iguana sick. 

If you plan to use natural materials, it is best to buy them from the pet stores as they are free from chemicals instead of picking them from a garden that you are not sure if it is chemical-free or not.

When using fake flooring, you should always go for those without chemicals, leads, or things that can harm your iguana.

Level Of Bacteria-Resistance

A good substrate for your iguana’s enclosure can prevent mold and can absorb moisture. This type of substrate will help to ensure the bacteria does not spread, and your iguana does not get sick.

Durability Or Reusability

One of the important things to consider when choosing a substrate for your iguana is the durability of the substrate. This is because an iguana is a large-sized reptile, and you will need to house them in a large enclosure. 

This means it can be quite costly to change their substrate frequently. You will then need to consider the duration you plan to use a substrate and if it can be reused after wash. 

For instance, substrates like paper substrates will need to be replaced regularly as it gets soiled easily. However, some substrates can be spot cleaned and reused when soiled by your iguana.

Best Beddings For Iguanas
Iguana on a soft towel bedding

Easy To Clean 

The main reason for using a substrate is that it makes cleaning and maintaining the iguana’s enclosure easier. Iguanas are big lizards which also means they have large droppings. The substrates out there usually perform differently when it comes to the maintenance of your iguana’s enclosure.

This means it is easy to clean some substrates while you may need to replace them once they are soiled.

7 Best Beddings For Iguanas And Their Reviews

In this section, we will be reviewing seven (7) of the best iguana bedding by discussing their specific features and how it can affect the way you use them. Each substrate is quite unique from one another but they are safe and durable bedding suitable for your iguana’s enclosure. 

Product ListNatural ProductLevel of Bacteria-ResistanceDurability
Zilla terrarium linerCoconut fiberGreatGreat
Zoo Med eco-carpetNo, made with recycled plasticsGreatGreat
Critters comfort coconut reptile bedding organic substrateCoco coir or coconut fiberGoodGood
ZeeDix 3pcs natural coconut fiber reptile carpet matCoconut fiberGoodGood
Table showing the durability and resistant-to-bacteria level of iguana beddings

Zilla Terrarium Liner 

Zilla terrarium liner is a durable substrate that offers a natural habitat for your iguanas.

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Product Overview

  • Made with absorbent and non-abrasive material
  • Biodegradable enzyme
  • Coconut fiber
  • Durable

Zilla reptile terrarium liner is a strong top-shelf reptile carpet that will stay nice and dry after long-term use. The substrate is made out of coconut fibers treated with a nontoxic enzyme that helps reduce the odor. This means you will have to clean and change every time.

It is quite easy to clean this reptile carpet after it has been soiled with cold water. Another thing is that it is quite easy to install a Zilla reptile terrarium liner. All you have to do is cut it to the exact size of your terrarium and just place it around the accessories.

The Zilla reptile terrarium bedding has a non-abrasive texture and will not harm your iguana’s belly or feet. The best thing is that it is cheap and will not cost you much when you plan to replace it. The only drawback about this product is that iguana’s claws can get stuck in this liner, but you can prevent this by trimming the sharp tips.


  • Low maintenance
  • Cost-effective
  • Reusable and easy to clean
  • It can be cut to size
  • Presence of biodegradable enzymes that reduces odor
  • Safe


  • Iguana claws may get stuck
  • You need to cut it to size
  • Not biodegradable.

Zoo Med Eco Carpet 

The Zoo Med eco carpet is a cost-effective substrate for your iguana

Product Overview

  • Made from 100% recycled plastic bottles
  • Non-abrasive material
  • Water absorbent

Last update on 2022-12-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Zoo Med Eco Carpet substrate is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. It has a thick and soft texture that gives your iguana a natural environment scenery. Another thing is that your iguana cannot accidentally ingest it.

The Zoo Med eco carpet is a cost-effective product and can be used to fit a 10-gallon tank. However, you can cut it to fit a smaller tank or overlap it for larger tanks. The substrate is non-abrasive and will not scratch your iguana’s feet or belly.

It is also absorbent and reusable. Cleaning it is also easy; all it needs is for you to shake, rinse, and dry before you place it back into the tank. It is important that you keep your iguana’s claws trimmed to help ensure they don’t get stuck in this liner.

iguana on sand bedding
By all means, avoid sand substrates because this can cause impaction to your pet


  • You can cut it to size
  • Cost-effective
  • Reusable and easy to clean
  • Natural feel
  • Eco-friendly
  • Safe


  • Iguana’s claws can get stuck
  • No odor control.
  • Not biodegradable. 

Exo Terra Sand Mat Desert Terrarium Reptile Substrate 

Exo terra sand mat helps to offer a natural desert look to your iguana’s enclosure.

Last update on 2022-12-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Product Overview

  • It offers a natural desert look
  • Available in different sizes
  • Natural desert sand appearance

The Exo terra sand mat allows iguana owners to create a desert-like environment for their pets. The substrate has a sand-like texture but cannot be accidentally ingested by your pet, like gravel or sand. It is also absorbent, sturdy, and it is reusable, which helps save money.

A great thing about this substrate is that your iguana will get a firm grip on it which helps to make your pet safe and comfortable. The texture of the substrate also ensures that your iguana’s nails do not get stuck and will keep their nails trimmed.

However, the sand from the substrate can come loose over time, and you should keep an eye on it to help keep the mate clean.


  • Reusable and easy to clean
  • Easy to fit in and remove
  • Available in different sizes
  • Safe and hygienic
  • It cannot be accidentally ingested
  • Help keep iguana’s nails trimmed


  • Does not have odor control
  • The sand can come loose over a long-term use
  • Not made from recycled materials.

Zoo Med Eco Earth Compressed Coconut Fiber 

Zoo Med eco-earth compressed coconut fiber offers an ideal naturalistic terrarium setup for your iguana.

Last update on 2022-12-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Product Overview

  • Natural look
  • Made with compressed coconut fiber
  • Available in different size

The Zoo Med eco-earth coconut fiber substrate is made from the husks of coconuts. It is suitable for iguanas because it is soft, and you can easily fit it in your iguana’s enclosure. Furthermore, it helps to absorb waste and liquid and prevent odors from your iguana’s enclosure.

You can use the zoo med eco-earth coconut fiber dampened or dry. However, it can be hard to use it when dry as you will need to break it into smaller pieces if bought in bricks. It can also grow mold if it stays wet for a long time.

This means you will need to replace it frequently if used wet or damp. Another thing is that your iguana can attempt to ingest it, but it is not harmful to your pet. However, you may need a different product if your iguana is always trying to ingest it.

Kitchen towels also make good substrates for iguanas
Kitchen towels also make good substrates for iguanas


  • Safe to use
  • Comfortable
  • Eco-friendly and renewable
  • Can control odor
  • Can absorb waste and liquid
  • Can be composted or recycled


  • Expensive
  • Can grow mold when wet
  • Difficult to break apart when dry
  • Iguanas can consume it

Exo Terra Moss Mat Terrarium Reptile Substrate 

Exo terra moss mat terrarium reptile substrate helps to offer a natural look to your iguana’s enclosure.

Product Overview

  • Natural-looking
  • Non-abrasive material
  • Made with moss
  • Available in different sizes

The Exo Terra moss mat terrarium reptile substrate is a natural-looking substrate suitable for an iguana’s enclosure. It is very absorbent and can be used to control the humidity levels in your iguana enclosure. It is also made with non-abrasive material, which will not scratch your iguana.

Using the exo-terra moss mat terrarium substrate is quite easy, and you can even cut it to fit any terrarium size. It is also easy to clean as you can just rinse and leave it to dry before placing it in your iguana’s tank.

Although it is hard for your pet to ingest moss, you can watch them while they acclimatize to it.


  • Reusable and easy to clean
  • Offers natural look and feel
  • It can be cut to fit any terrarium size
  • It absorbs waste and controls humidity levels.
  • Encourages burrowing
  • Hard for an iguana to consume them
  • It is non-abrasive


  • The dye from the moss may bleed
  • There is no odor control
  • Your iguana’s claw may get stuck
  • Not made from recycled materials.

Critters Comfort Coconut Reptile Bedding Organic Substrate 

Critter’s comfort coconut reptile bedding is a perfect bedding material for different types of reptile environments.

Critters Comfort Coconut Reptile Bedding Organic Substrate - Fine, 21 Quarts
  • PERFECT BEDDING MATERIAL: Ideal for snakes, lizards, geckos, iguanas, turtles, frogs, crabs
  • SUPERB ODOR CONTROL: Enjoy living with your pet – odor free because of coconut coir’s incredible ability to absorb, encapsulate, retain and break down moisture
  • PEACE OF MIND: 100% organic coconut coir is non-toxic, dust free, and chemical and fragrance free giving you peace of mind knowing that it’s safe for your pets and you, too

Last update on 2022-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Product Overview

  • 100% coco coir or coconut fiber
  • Eco-friendly
  • Biodegradable

Critter’s comfort coconut reptile bedding is made with coco coir or coconut fiber and can be used to fill a 20-30 gallon tank. It is non-toxic and dust-free, which helps ensure your pet is safe. Another thing is that it is eco-friendly as it is made from renewable resources.

The critter comfort coconut reptile bedding has great odor control and will absorb and retain moisture and waste from your iguana’s tank. You can use this substrate to control the humidity in your iguana’s tank and to distribute heat evenly in the tank.

This substrate is recyclable, and you can use a bag for a wide range of uses. The drawback is that you will need to replace it every 30-45 days of use. You will also need to watch your iguana closely to prevent consuming the substrate.

Coco coir can also become moldy if left damp for too long.


  • Can absorb water and waste
  • Can control odor
  • Can be composted
  • Eco-friendly
  • It is recyclable
  • Aids humidity control and heat distribution


  • Your iguanas can consume it
  • Premium price
  • Can become moldy when wet.

ZeeDix 3pcs Natural Coconut Fiber Reptile Carpet Mat 

Healthy and eco-friendly bedding suitable for an iguana’s enclosure is the ZeeDix natural coconut fiber reptile carpet mat.

Product Overview

ZeeDix natural coconut fiber reptile carpet mat is made with natural coconut fiber. The mats possess natural odor control and absorbent properties. This is because of the biodegradable enzymes that help keep the odor in control.

ZeeDix mats help to make an iguana’s enclosure a comfortable and breathable space to live in. Your iguana cannot accidentally ingest the mats, and you can easily reuse and clean them. The carpet has a soft texture and will protect your iguana from harm.

A great benefit is that they are cheap if you plan to replace them. You will need to clean it regularly to avoid the growth of mold. You may also need a second mat if the mat does not provide enough absorption.

[amazon box=”B08H12S173″ template=”vertical”


  • Can control odor
  • Waste and water absorption
  • Can be composted
  • Cheap
  • It is eco-friendly and renewable


  • It can become moldy if wet
  • Cannot be cut to fit an iguana’s enclosure
  • You may need to replace it regularly
  • You may need to use a second mat if it is not very absorptive.

4 Best Substrates At Home You Can Use For Iguanas

Incase of unexpected situations where you don’t have enough time to buy bedding for your iguanas, there are some alternative substrates suitable for your iguana’s home. Here are some of the best substrates that you can use as your temporary iguanas bedding. 


Newspaper is the cheapest substrate choice that you can use for your iguana’s enclosure. It does not cause impaction and all you have to do is replace it when it becomes dirty or ripped. However, the newspaper does not look natural in an iguana enclosure.

When using newspapers, it is recommended to use unprinted newspapers because it is less toxic but can cost more. On the other hand, heat and high humidity can cause ink fumes to rise when using printed newspapers.

The drawback when using newspapers is that it does not create good flooring, and your iguana can get toe injuries. It is best to use newspaper when quarantining your iguana or you want to see its stools.

Newspaper is also a best substrates choice for any species of reptile animal
Newspaper is also a best substrates choice for any species of reptile animal

Butcher Paper

A similar substrate to a newspaper is butcher paper. However, it is usually brown or white in color, and you can then change the paper once it is dirty. Butcher paper is a cheap substrate, but it is not visually appealing.

Another thing is that butcher paper is thin and slippery, and it does not create a good flooring for your iguanas to walk.

Kitchen Towels

A small kitchen towel is another good substrate option for your iguana’s enclosure. However, it is not very appealing.  Anyways, you can easily wash and disinfect it whenever you want. Furthermore, your iguanas can’t ingest them.

Paper Towels

Paper towels are a cheaper option suitable for an iguana’s enclosure. Like the other substrate above, they don’t look appealing but will help absorb water and waste very easily. It is also very easy to change whenever it is soiled.

Paper towels don’t also create a good base for your iguana to walk on.

6 Substrates To Avoid For Iguana

Although there are several substrates that you can use for your iguanas. However, some are not suitable for your iguanas, and you need to be vigilant about what you use. Some of the substrates that are not suitable for iguana are stated below.


It is not recommended to use sand as a substrate for your iguana. Iguanas are not desert creatures and cannot do well with sand as a substrate. Furthermore, it can lead to impaction if your iguana accidentally ingests it.

Cat Litter

Although cat litter is easy to clean and highly absorbent, it is recommended not to use cat litter for your iguana’s cage. This is because it is unsafe, and your iguana can ingest it. Furthermore, it clumps when wet and can lead to impaction.

Another thing is that some cat litter can lead to a large amount of dust as it can damage your iguana’s respiratory system.

Gravel Or Rocks

Gravel and rocks are other bedding not suitable for your iguana. The rock can scratch and lead to injury for your iguana. Furthermore, iguanas can swallow the rock, leading to impaction.

Gravels are abrasive and can cause scrapes and cuts to your iguana. They can also be ingested, which can cause internal damage and impaction. Gravel cannot absorb waste or water and cannot control odor. This can then make cleaning the substrate quite difficult.

Bark Or Wood Chips

Some owners use bark to keep the humidity in their iguana’s enclosure and to create a softer surface to walk on. However, bark or wood chips are not suitable for your iguanas. This is because they are small, and your iguana can ingest them easily. Furthermore, it is very hard to wash bark if there is spillage.

Crushed Walnut Shells

You should not use this substrate for your iguanas because it can lead to impaction if ingested.

Aspen Bedding

Aspen bedding is a loose substrate, making it unsuitable for your iguana. This means your iguana can accidentally ingest them. Another substrate similar to aspen bedding not suitable for your iguana is the pine bedding.

Final Verdict

Choosing a substrate for your iguana can be made easy if you know what to buy and what not to help save money, time, and potential heartache. Using a suitable substrate helps make your iguana healthy and comfortable in its enclosure.

I will recommend that you go for Zilla terrarium liner as it is cheap, can absorb waste and water, can control odor and it is easy to clean. Another great option is the critter comfort coconut reptile bedding if you want a substrate that is recyclable and eco-friendly. 

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.


UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.