Best Substrate for Leopard Gecko

7 Best Substrate for Leopard Gecko 2024

Keeping your pet Leopard Gecko comfortable in its terrarium requires a selection of the best substrate. Maybe, you are wondering which of these bedding would work best in your environment. Read Also: a best substrate for bearded dragons. 

Perhaps you’re confused further by the numerous varieties of these products in the market. Well, no more hassle; in this article, we shall review the best substrate for leopard gecko in depth. So, let’s get started. 

[amazon bestseller=”Substrate for Leopard Gecko” items=”2″ template=”table”]

1. #1 Top Pick: MCLANZOO Leopard Gecko – for Reptiles Cage & Terrarium

[amazon box=”B07YJH46Y3″ template=”horizontal”]

2. #2 Pick: Zoo Med Eco Earth (3 Pack) absorbent, Biodegradable

[amazon box=”B0010OSIHW” template=”horizontal”]

3. #3 Pick: Bio-Dude Terra-Sahara Bio-active Gecko Substrate

[amazon box=”B07TS92LTS” template=”horizontal”]

4. Zoo Med Excavator Clay – Quality Substrate Pick

[amazon box=”B000N5OM8S” template=”horizontal”]

The Zoo Med Excavator is an extra soft, special clay substrate manufactured to curl your Leopard Gecko nicely while burrowing. It Features very fine grains suitable to nicely nurse your pet entirely without any irritation.

Actually, the substrate claims to deliver natural habitat where your pet will dig tunnels while having fun without skin damage. In addition, Zoo Med has a strong bonding ability that will allow your Leopard Gecko to build-up hills and valleys easily.

This substrate isn’t sticky- it has a nice provision that enables your pet to create deep furrows and dig terraces as it burrows is your terrarium. Indeed the product binds nicely and holds the molds perfectly without collapsing thus creating a natural home scenery.

The accustomed clay has a special natural additive that enables it to remain moist for a long without drying. In fact, Zoo med won’t harden when dry either. All you will need to do is to add little water (binder) that will smoothen the mold particles further.

This substrate doesn’t require any sink heat tank in the terrarium since it’s able to retain enough heat to keep your Leopard Gecko warm the entire night. Moreover, you don’t need to remove/replace the whole substrate when cleaning– you just dig out the soiled section.

Importantly, Zoo Med has no dyes or chemical additives

The Good:

  • No dyes or chemical additives
  • Very fine and soft grains
  • Creates natural habitat
  • Easier to form mold and terraces
  • Allows smooth burrowing without skin damage
  • Budget friendly and good quantity
  • Retains substantial heat – no reheating
  • Don’t harden when dry

The Bad:

  • Excess heating will dry the product
  • Needs re-wetting often -weekly

Related: What does leopard gecko eat?

5. Zilla Reptile Terrarium Bedding Substrate Liner

[amazon box=”B000N5OM8S” template=”horizontal”]

Zilla Terrarium is a roll out carpet manufactured with impressive texture crucial to provide optimal skin care when in use. The product comes in a nice foldable package that makes it easier to transport to various places (multiple use).

The trimmable options (you can resize to any dimensions) given in this carpet allows you to fit it perfectly in your terrarium without any wastage or hassle.

Zilla is a low maintenance substrate that is safe for your Leopard Gecko – it cannot be digest especially by the juvenile Geckos.

This product is specially manufactured with very active biodegradable enzymes that ensures complete elimination of any odor (within or from outside) in the terrarium in a couple of minutes. Indeed, Zilla has a pleasant smell that won’t irritate you while feeding Leopard Gecko.

Further, this product features durable, non-abrasive material (wont irritate your pet) that has highly absorbent tissues, which will allow fast urine penetration (prevents wetting of lower belly).

Zilla is easier to clean (hand or machine washable) thus can be re-used several times. All you need is to run it in cold water, then rinse to complete dryness (dry in sun) before putting it back.

Notably, Zilla is USARK certified and comes in variety of colors and sizes for optional selections. Remember, this substrate work best on flat floors – you can place other bedding on top too.

The Good:

  • Easier to clear – hand or machine washable
  • Has variety of colors and sizes
  • USARK certified
  • Highly absorbent – no wetting
  • Very comfortable – Non abrasive material
  • Low maintenance – recyclable
  • Trimmable and foldable
  • Removes odor- has active biodegradable enzyme

The Bad:

  • Unsuitable for rugged floors
  • May stuck the teeth

6. Natural Slate Stone

[amazon box=”B071YN2QH8″ template=”horizontal”]

Slate stones are smooth surface, naturally occurring substrates that create a classic environment in your terrarium or aquarium. The product is produced in various sizes and shapes that will nicely fit your terrarium design without any challenge.

The surface of slate stones has nice texture that nurse the skin of your Leopard Gecko without causing any injuries. In fact, the product has a dark shinny surface when wet and glitters nicely over light rays thus making the terrarium look very beautiful.

Slate stones is also mixed with brown and white quartz that psychologically relaxes your pet. Moreover, the mixture makes the ground appearance even more beautiful.

You can comfortably stick these slate stones in your aquarium with removable adhesive to create scenic ramp that your pet can cruise or add extra beauty for the viewers.

The product mixture has 1-3 inch stone sizes that allows fast penetration of urine and hence keeps the terrarium always dry.

In fact, slate stones retain more heat during the day and will continuously dissipate the heat at night, thus keeping your Leopard Geckos warm without artificial warming.

The USA produced substrate is 100% safe for your pet – no possible swallowing or impactions. Notably, this product can be recycled by washing soiled slate stones using treated water.

The Good:

  • 100% safe – no possible swallowing
  • Nice surface texture – no injuries
  • Retains a lot of heat – no artificial warming
  • Create nice scenic appearance – has white & Brown quartz
  • 100% Natural – no chemical coating
  • Variety of shape and sizes – 1 to 3” sizes
  • Highly permeable – no logging
  • Budget friendly
  • Washable

The Bad:

  • Not suitable for juvenile Geckos

Read Also: What do baby lizards eat?

7. Exo Terra Sand Mat

[amazon box=”B071YN2QH8″ template=”horizontal”]

Exo Terra is a high quality substrate that is specially manufactured using non-abrasive material that won’t irritate your Leopard Gecko when walking. This product is nicely designed with perfect outlook that resembles a natural desert scenery.

Exo Terra has smooth, finely finished sand that provides a natural texture needed to offer a firm grip to your pet when moving. In addition, the terra sand grains that are strongly fixed to avoid any detaching (prevents swallowing).

The USA approved product is actually safe for both juvenile and adult Leopard Gecko – can’t ne ingested accidently.

This product has anti-microbial that maintains minimum bacterial built up. The Exo Terra comes in extra thickness that makes your pet Gecko feel more comfortable.

You can easily trim this product to fit to the size of your terrarium without any hassle. Importantly, the product can recycle by washing the soiled part with clean water, rinse and leave it under the sun to dry before putting it back.

This substrate effectively absorbs and directs any wetness to the bottom thus leaving the surface always dry. In fact, Exo Terra comes in large size (35.5”x17.5”) that can fit well in large terrariums.

The Good:

  • Hygienic and safe – can’t be ingested
  • Thick and large size
  • Easier to remove and clean
  • Can be trimmed easily
  • Minimum bacterial build up
  • Beautiful desert scenery
  • Excellent texture and grip

The Bad:

  • Slightly sandy
  • Don’t remove odor

8. ReptiChip Premium Coconut Reptile Substrate

[amazon box=”B0157O1CM8″ template=”horizontal”]

The ReptiChip Premium is a top quality substrate manufacture with a 100% organic material to improve the comfort of your pet Gecko in the Terrarium. The product features an eco-friendly, fined manufactured coconut chips that are dirt free.

The ReptiChip Premium is absolutely hygienic and healthy for both juvenile and adult Leopard Gecko since it’s manufacture with odor removal properties that always keep the terrarium fresh.

In addition, this product maintains ideal humidity level in the cage and never gets wet upon urination –dries up quickly. In fact, ReptiChip Premium has anti-wet properties that allow flow of water/urine faster to the bottom thus leaving the surface always dry.

ReptiChip Premium can be recycled. All you need is to collect the soiled chips into a bucket, wash them with treated water and dry them under the sun before spreading them back.

This product comes in various mixed sizes and will provide a scenic environment in your terrarium. Moreover, ReptiChip Premium expands easily to fits in gaps and has a nice deodorizing feature.

Importantly, ReptiChip Premium is mold resistant and would lock any moisture away.

The Good:

  • Economical at long run
  • Top Quality organic substrate
  • No wetting or mold formation-locks moisture
  • Easy to remove and clear – can be recycled
  • Comes in various shape and size
  • Safe and hygienic- can’t be ingested
  • Eco- friendly – no pollution
  • Deodorizing feature and removes odor

The Bad:

  • Slightly expensive
  • Must be fully dry before reuse

Read Also: Whta’s the best cages for bearded dragons?

9. Exo Terra Bio-Drain

[amazon box=”B0157O1CM8″ template=”horizontal”]

The Exo Terra Bio-Drain feature a top quality bio-friendly treated lava rocks that will service your terrarium or aquarium nicely without any replacement. The substrate comes in large quantity package (4.4 pounds/2 kg) enough to cover a large portion.

This product has a fine, smooth surface finish that won’t irritated your Leopard Gecko – instead the surface rocks have safe protrusions that give extra grip for your pet when walking.

Unlike other substrates, Bio-Drain won’t decompose easily on any level of wetness thus making it more suitable for water bases terrarium or aquariums.

Moreover, this product helps retain optimal humidity and temperature levels needed for Gecko’s comfortable life. Indeed, you can mix this product with other substrates (moss or coconut husks) without affecting its top performance to improve further, the terrarium impression.

The Bio-Drain is produced in various sizes that allow easier urine penetration thus maintaining the surface always dry.

Importantly, Exo Terra is an easier to clean product and can be recycled/reused severally – all you need to do is to collect soiled substrate in a bucket, wash using treated water and dry under sun before spreading them back.

Notably, Exo Terra Bio-Drain is best when used in tropical terrarium and paludariums.

The Good:

  • Non-decomposable
  • Creates natural scenery
  • Washable and can be recycled
  • Large quantity package – 4.4 pounds
  • Maintains optimal humidity and temperature
  • Top quality – treated lava rocks
  • Allows fast urine penetration
  • Comfortable – soft surface rocks
  • Durable and odor free
  • Can be mixed with other substrates

The Bad:

  • Not suitable for juvenile terrarium

10. Zoo Med ReptiSand

[amazon box=”B00T1JVAO6″ template=”horizontal”]

Zoo Med Reptisand is an excellent egg-laying medium for your Leopard Gecko, which is mixed with active Eco-Earth to improve your pets comfort. The Substrate is nicely blended with natural color pigment that makes it create a natural scenery in your terrarium.

Reptisand is a top quality USA made product that stimulates easier burrowing without any injuries. In fact, your Leopard Gecko will easily dig furrows and terraces as well as create classic mosaic molds while having fun.

The fine grains that Reptisand is manufactured in softly nurses your pet Gecko and ensures smooth movement in the terrarium without any irritation.

In addition, this substrate is a great heat conductor and will retain substantial heat that can warm your Geckos at night – no artificial heating during cold nights.

Actually, this product is manufactured without addition of any dyes or paints that may stick on your Gecko’s skin blocking the sweat glands. Moreover, the substrate won’t irritate your skin or eyes during application.

Reptisand is easier to remove – you only need to scoop the soiled section and replace with clean on. The product stimulates best laying environment for your Gecko’s reproduction season.

Notably, Reptisand can also be used by soft shell turtle, Collard Lizards or Bearded Dragon.

The Good:

  • No dyes or paints added
  • Very comfortable- soft, fine grains
  • Stimulates Breeding of Geckos
  • Retain great heat – good conductor
  • Blended with natural pigments
  • Economical –budget friendly
  • Easier to clean
  • Eco-Friendly and no odor
  • Creates natural scenic environment

The Bad:

  • Can’t be recycled/reused


Proper homecare for your Leopard Gecko is crucial activity towards making its life more comfortable every day.

To achieve to quality standards in its terrarium, you must select the best substrate for Leopard Gecko, which suit your environment.

Before placing your order, consider the size, weight, cleaning options as well as reusability of any substrate.

Similar Posts