Leopard gecko hides are places where your gecko can feel safe and comfortable, refuges where they can rest, sleep and hide from other pets and people. Reptiles do tend to become stressed living in captivity and stress can result in health problems and behavioral issues. Their appetite may reduce or the gecko may not be able to reproduce if living in a stressed environment. The hide provides a safe haven, a secure place for your leopard gecko, while offering essential moisture to the enclosure.
Leopard gecko hides are decorative and take up little space, they provide a place to hide and rest, they reduce stress, are stable and easy to clean.
Continue reading to find out about leopard gecko hides and the best options on the market right now.
Why Do Leopard Geckos Need Hides?
The hides in your leopard gecko tank are an essential part of their environment. This is where your gecko will go to find shelter from anything that scares them, too much light or even to hide from the heat. A hide can be any shape and design, as long as it provides the security and comfort your gecko needs.
How Many Hides Does a Leopard Gecko Need?
Leopard geckos require three hides: warm, moist and cool.
The warm hide (or hot hide) is placed on the hot side of the tank. This is where your gecko will go when digesting food or when feeling on the cool side. It is where they can warm themselves while feeling safe and secure.
The moist hide (sometimes called wet hide or humid hide) has higher humidity than the other hides. This is where your gecko will go when they need to shed, the humidity helps to soften the skin. The moist hide should never be placed on the hotter side of the tank. Remember heat causes evaporation. Therefore, you need a substrate that you can use to keep the hide moist.
The cool hide should be placed on the coldest side of the tank, as far away from the warm hide as possible. Leopard geckos cannot regulate their own body temperature, which means when they get hot, they need to find a way to cool themselves down. The cool hide is a great place to cool down, while remaining hidden and safe.
Leopard Gecko Hide Placement
The warm hide should be placed on the warmest side of the tank. It should be placed on the heat mat to provide a warm place where your gecko can go and hide food or warm up if feeling too cool.
Moist hides the best of both and should be a place where your gecko can go to soften their skin. They will spend a lot of time here when shedding. The ideal placement for the humid hide is half on your heat mat and half off.
Your cool hide should be on the opposite side to your warm hide. This should be on the coolest side of your tank, offering a secure hideaway for your gecko where they can cool down.
Important Considerations When Choosing a Good Hide
Your gecko is going to be looking for somewhere dark and safe to hide. While being the easiest of the reptiles to have as a pet, they can also suffer from stress which is related to being kept in captivity. Therefore, one of the important factors is to ensure the hide will be dark enough.
When it comes to sizing, you need to ensure it is large enough for your gecko to get in and out in comfort, while being able to move around their hide with ease. If you have more than one leopard gecko, then you will require a larger hide.
In addition to this, it is very important that you note if there are any sharp edges and sides to the hide, which could potentially injure your reptile.
Moist Hide Substrate
Your gecko is going to spend a lot of time in their moist hide and therefore the substrate you choose is imperative. Female geckos will lay her eggs in the wet hide and they like to dig off some substrate to make way for their eggs.
While you may find some information online recommending you use wet kitchen roll in the hide, this is not the best option. Geckos will not lay their eggs on the kitchen roll, which can increase the risk of egg binding.
Sphagnum Moss is the most used substrate for leopard geckos. Be careful, this substrate can develop mold if kept too wet, so keep track of your misting and be prepared to change the substrate should the area become moldy. Moss is also preferred as the risk of impaction is reduced.
Best Leopard Gecko Hides
SunGrow Raw Coconut Husk Hut with Ladder
Made from a natural material, the SunGrow Raw Coconut Husk Hut with Ladder is perfect for not just leopard geckos but also other small arboreal reptiles, small birds, hermit crabs, and pocket pets. You can add some moss as the bedding inside the hide to increase the humidity level. The wooden ladder plays as a bridge to go across the enclosure.
Exo Terra Primate Skull Terrarium D
This hide is realistic in design and can be a wonderful decoration in any terrarium, while offering valuable hiding for your leopard gecko. The hide offers a number of entrances, easy access and a secure hiding solution for your reptile. The skull hide comes with glowing reviews, but be careful the sides can be a little on the sharp side, so you may want to file them down before you add the skull hide to your enclosure.
Exo Terra Gecko Cave for Reptiles
This hide helps to reduce stress and can be added with confidence to your tank design. Comes in three sizes. The gecko cave offers a secure hiding spot to help reduce stress and ensure the best health for your reptile. This gecko cave has a natural look with a sturdy design, reducing the risk of it tipping over.
Pangea Reptile Hide Box
The Pangea Reptile Hide Box offers secure hiding for your leopard gecko in a single plastic hide that is 10" x 7" x 2.25". This hide is very durable and so easy to clean. Simply soak, clean in anti bacterial cleaner, rinse and dry. The smooth plastic inside and outside eliminates the risk of any sharp sides, reducing the risk of injury to your reptile.
Niteangle Natural Coconut Reptile Hideouts
A wonderful natural hide for your leopard gecko to reduce stress and relieve pressure. This hide can be used as any of the three hides your gecko requires. Remember this is a natural coconut shell and therefore the sizes may vary slightly from the five inches expected. The coconut shell is a natural product which can be more appealing to your gecko, offering a safe place to hide, play and grow. Before use you will need to give the hide a clean with some mild soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly before including it in the tank. The package includes two coconut hides as an added convenience.
Zoo Med Reptile Shelter
This reptile shelter offers a fantastic security hide for your leopard gecko and comes in a choice of sizes. This is a three in one cave that can be used as any of the three hides your gecko requires. It can be filled with moss to create a moist hide. It is a very durable product made from resin, making it quick and easy to clean. It comes with a removable lid, which enables you to check on your pet and remove any eggs if needed. Available in three convenient sizes.
Exo Terra Reptile Cave
The Exo Terra Reptile Cave is a natural looking hide that can easily be incorporated into your enclosure design to prevent stress. This offers the perfect hiding place for your reptile. It comes in a medium size and is very easy to clean. Made from food grade resin, it offers a realistic rock design. It comes in a natural color, working in all tank designs. This is a stable hide that doesn't knock over easily.
Exo Terra Glow Mushroom Hideout
The Exo Terra Glow Mushroom Hideout provides your leopard gecko with a secure hiding place that looks natural, so it works with any enclosure design. This hide is ideal for creating a humid climate, making it ideal as your moist hide. This can be an exciting addition to your enclosure. The hide is made to look as natural as possible with decaying wood and bioluminescent mushrooms, which are naturally found on these logs in the wold. The lights absorb light during the day, releasing it slowing throughout the night, offering a dim light.
Zilla Reptile Habitat Decor Hideouts Bark Bends
The Zilla Reptile Habitat Decor Hideouts Bark Bends is the ideal choice for leopard geckos who are seeking privacy. The hide is made from a non porous exterior which reduces the risk of bacterial growth, while offering an easy to clean product that simply requires soapy water, a rinse and dry off before being returned to the enclosure. The hide offers a natural appearance. The hide comes in three sizes with the large size being 5"L x 10.75"W x 5.5"H, offering ample room for your gecko to move around.
World Mall Reptile Rock Hide
This hide offers a comfortable place where your leopard gecko can hide. It is natural, eco friendly and looks and feels natural, which results in a happy and healthy reptile. The design is to provide the security and privacy your reptile needs to become more confident and well rested. This is an easy to clean product that comes with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, for additional peace of mind.
Galapagos Mossy Cave Hide
An excellent corner hide, the perfect choice if you are limited on space and struggling to find where to put the third hide. This is a long lasting hide, to be used as a moist hide, simply ad green and sphagnum moss. It comes in two sizes. This hide comes with glowing reviews from happy customers who have introduced this hide to their enclosure and have a happy gecko.
How to Clean Leopard Gecko Hides And Decorations
Hides and decorations for leopard geckos have been made to be easy to clean. You can soak the hide and decorations in a bucket of warm water and anti bacterial cleaner. Wipe with cloth to ensure clean, rinse and dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why is my leopard gecko sleeping outside of his hide?
A. There could be a number of reasons why our gecko is hiding. Maybe you have just brought your leopard gecko home and he hasn't settled in yet, which means he is nervous and stressed. A new environment is very stressful and he may not be ready to come out just yet, if he feels safe in one of the hides.
Don't worry, if you have had your gecko for some time and it still won't come out the hide, then it could mean you are doing everything right. A well fed and happy leopard gecko is a sleepy and lazy gecko.
If your gecko has only been in your home for less than two weeks, give it some time to adjust to the new surroundings. Don't handle or disturb it too much at this time, except for feeding. Eliminate any bright lights that may be near the enclosure which could be making your gecko uncomfortable. Keep an eye on new geckos in hiding to ensure that they are eating. If the gecko doesn't eat within ten days, seek expert assistance.
Q. My leopard gecko is hiding all the time. What should I do?
This could be a result of the hide being too warm. The ground temperature needs to be checked to ensure your gecko isn't overheating when using the warm hide. Reduce the temperature slightly to maintain the right heat, which should be no more than 93ºF.
Q. Can I make a homemade hide for my leopard gecko?
Yes, you can make your own leopard gecko hide with a plastic or styrofoam box like this. Make sure you cover all the sides with rocks or leaves for no light entering the hide.
Your main priority is to create a natural and comfortable habitat for your leopard gecko using three hides. There is no right or wrong as to which of these hides you choose. The main factors to include is to ensure you can fit all three hides in your enclosure and that your gecko can get in and out of the enclosure, while turning around comfortably inside.