Bearded Dragon Shelf Liner: 6 Facts You Should Know

Many bearded dragon owners choose shelf liner as their substrate to complete their bearded dragon enclosure setup. Shelf liner is a good choice when looking for a safe substrate for your dragon and is ideal for beginner reptile owners.

If you are unsure on which shelf liner to purchase or you aren’t sure if shelf liner is right for you, then continue reading to find out more about using it in your bearded dragon enclosure.

1. Pros of Using Shelf Liner

Risk of Impaction Eliminated

One of the biggest concerns when choosing a substrate for your bearded dragon is whether your dragon is going to suffer from impaction, which can be life threatening.

Impaction happens when your dragon eats some of the substrates when catching and eating their prey, which causes a blockage, known as impaction. With shelf liner, this risk is eliminated.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Shelf liner is exceptionally easy to clean and maintain. Simply wipe with a cloth to clean up any spills or poop. It can save you valuable time and energy when carrying out daily spot checks.

Quick Replacement

Think of the substrates on the market and the lengths you have to go to when it comes to replacement.

When it’s time to replace your shelf liner substrate, you simply cut the length you need and place it in the clean enclosure, completing your set up with hides, hammocks, basking rocks, and more.

Purchase Anywhere

Shelf liner is readily available and can be purchased anywhere from your local home depot stores to online stores, such as Amazon.

You don’t have to search far to find good quality shelf liner you can use in your dragon’s enclosure to provide a safe and comfortable substrate.

Wide Variety

Looking to pimp up your dragon’s enclosure? Looking for something different and unique? Do you want the enclosure to look natural, but using shelf liner as your substrate of choice?

There are so many great colors, textures, and patterns you can choose from to create the ultimate habitat for your reptile pet.


Another great benefit of using shelf liner is that it is cost effective. You purchase it in a roll and will use only a small section to create a base layer to your tank.

This means when it comes time to replace, you already have the shelf liner in storage, ready to be cut to size and placed in the habitat.

2. Cons of Using Shelf Liner

Regular Replacement

Shelf liner isn’t very long lasting, but it is affordable. You will find that you will need to change your shelf liner regularly to provide a clean and safe habitat for your reptile pet.

Can Get Messy

Shelf liner is not strong enough to fight against your dragon’s sharp claws and bearded dragons do tend to scratch up the lining, which can give your enclosure a messy look if you don’t replace the lining regularly.

No Cushioning

Shelf liner doesn’t provide a soft landing when your dragon falls from a height, such as its basking platform or hammock. This can result in injury.

3. Use Non-Adhesive Shelf Liner Only

When it comes to buying shelf liner, there are two types on the market: adhesive and non-adhesive. It’s important that you choose the non-adhesive shelf liner. The adhesive liner can release fumes caused by the adhesive material being heated up in the enclosure.

4. Never Use Shelf Liner with Holes

For easy maintenance, don’t use shelf liner with holes

Rubber shelf liner that has holes in it is very popular in the home and you may think it will provide a soft substrate for your dragon.

Never use shelf liner with holes. The dragon’s claws can get stuck in the holes, causing injury. It is very difficult to keep clean and if you spill calcium powder, you will be struggling to get it out until you do a thorough clean.

5. Best Shelf Liner for Your Bearded Dragon

6. Cleaning and Maintenance

You need to carry out daily spot cleaning in your dragon’s enclosure no matter what substrate you use. With shelf lining it’s easy. Clean out your dragon’s enclosure as normal and if needed, simply give the shelf liner a wipe to remove any poop or calcium.

Deep cleaning should be carried out once a month. This is when you remove everything from the enclosure, wash and disinfect and then return everything. This is also an opportunity to replace your shelf liner, which should be replaced every one to two months.


Shelf liner is an affordable and easy to use substrate that is suited for the beginner and experienced reptile owner. With such a wide variety available, you can create the ultimate habitat for your reptilian pet.

1 thought on “Bearded Dragon Shelf Liner: 6 Facts You Should Know”

  1. My Dragon is having a really hard time with his reflection, I’ve tried everything, nothing is working can I use sticky shelf paper inside the walls of his glass tank or cardboard ?

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