Best reptile and amphibian terrarium cover

Fish & Reptile Supplies

Keep your reptile or amphibian companion safe and secure with a terrarium cover.

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Which reptile and amphibian terrarium cover is best?

Reptiles and amphibians can make interesting, rewarding pets. However, as with any animal, they come with very specific requirements to ensure their health, happiness and safety.

Reptile and amphibian terrarium covers allow you to feed, heat, light and observe your pets without fear of them escaping or being injured. The Zilla Fresh Air Screen Cover With Hinge provides great ventilation and a small locking door in the center that allows you to easily reach into your terrarium without having to remove the entire lid.

What to know before you buy a reptile and amphibian terrarium cover

Your pet

The right reptile and amphibian terrarium cover depends largely on what kind of animal you plan to keep in your terrarium. Terrestrial turtles or tortoises, for example, do not require a lid that safeguards heavily against escape, as these animals are not able to climb. Lizards, snakes and frogs, however, are accomplished escape artists. Even if your pet is primarily a ground dweller, you should protect against a jailbreak by purchasing a lid that securely fastens to the enclosure.


A terrarium lid primarily should be made of fine metal mesh or screen with sturdy metal sides. Avoid covers with plastic parts as these can melt when exposed to heat lamps. Also avoid screens that are braided, because your pet’s claws or fingers may get stuck between the metal fibers and lead to injury.

Your terrarium

Choose a terrarium cover that snugly fits over the top of your enclosure. Oversized covers will do if need be, but they require weight to be placed on them to protect against escape, which may pose additional hazards to you or your pet if whatever heavy object you are using is accidentally dropped.

Light and heat sources

For animals such as turtles that will never come into contact with the top of your terrarium, you can place lights and heat sources directly on the metal lid. However, for creatures such as lizards and tree frogs that may cling directly to the terrarium’s lid, suspend your light and heat sources over the terrarium to avoid heating the screen itself and burning your pet.

Pet food

Many reptiles and amphibians require a diet of live prey. Select a reptile and amphibian terrarium cover that prevents any crickets, insects or small prey animals from escaping before your pet has an opportunity to eat them.

What to look for in a quality reptile and amphibian terrarium cover


Some reptile and amphibian terrarium covers include locking clips that allow you to snugly clamp the lid to the tank. This prevents your pet from pushing up the lid and squeezing out of the enclosure. You can purchase these separately and they are highly recommended.

Easy access

Basic reptile and amphibian terrarium covers are little more than screen covers that rest on top of a tank. However, some models include hinges that allow you to fold up part of the lid for easier access to your terrarium and its inhabitants. Be sure you can secure any built-in doors or lids from the outside to prevent escape.


Reptiles and amphibians require airflow and proper ventilation for their health and to prevent excess moisture buildup in their habitat. Select a reptile and amphibian terrarium cover that is mostly made of screen. Lids that seal tightly or don’t allow air to pass through them easily are designed for aquarium use and are not suitable for reptiles and amphibians.

How much you can expect to spend on a reptile and amphibian terrarium cover

Most reptile and amphibian terrarium covers cost around $20. Large covers or those with locks, hinges and doors can cost $30-$50.

Reptile and amphibian terrarium cover FAQ

Is it safe for your pet to climb on the lid of the terrarium?

A. Climbing animals will undoubtedly find their way to the top of their enclosure. Many lizards and frogs are quite comfortable sleeping or resting upside-down. However, to ensure your pet does not get burned from any hot surfaces, avoid resting ceramic heaters or lightbulbs directly on the mesh itself.

Does a turtle need a cover for its terrarium?

A. Not necessarily. Turtles and tortoises are unable to climb out of their enclosures unless you have accidentally created a ramp for them to do so. These animals do not require a terrarium cover to prevent escape, but still benefit from the added safety a lid brings to their habitat. Additionally, since these animals are unable to touch the lid of their tank, a mesh cover provides a convenient surface for you to place lights or heaters on.

Is it normal for a snake to keep trying to escape?

A. Yes. Snakes are explorative animals and thanks to their slender bodies, are expert escape artists. These animals sometimes cover quite a bit of ground during their active hours. Given the space limitations placed on them in captivity, it is not at all unusual for snakes to spend a great deal of time poking and prodding their terrarium for ways out.

What’s the best reptile and amphibian terrarium cover to buy?

Top reptile and amphibian terrarium cover

Zilla Fresh Air Screen Cover With Hinge

Zilla Fresh Air Screen Cover With Hinge

What you need to know: This cover features a small, locking door in the center.

What you’ll love: This cover allows you easy access to your pet and terrarium due to a lockable door built into the center of it. You won’t need to remove the entire lid to interact with your pet or make any changes to their environment with this model.

What you should consider: No clips mean some animals will be able to push this lid up and find their way out.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top reptile and amphibian terrarium cover for the money

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Covers Fresh Air Screen

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Covers Fresh Air Screen

What you need to know: An affordable, rugged, well-ventilated screen cover, it’s for terrariums of all sizes.

What you’ll love: This cover’s basic, metal construction makes it sturdy but flexible. Its mesh provides great ventilation and it is available in many different sizes.

What you should consider: The holes in this terrarium cover will allow small prey insects to escape. No clamps are included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy

Worth checking out

Exo Terra Screen Cover

Exo Terra Screen Cover

What you need to know: This large screen allows for maximum access to the interior of your terrarium.

What you’ll love: This full-screen terrarium lid has a hinge at the center of it, allowing you to open half of the enclosure. With plenty of room for lights and the ability to easily remove your pet or clean the tank, this cover is an excellent choice.

What you should consider: This lid is not heavy enough to prevent strong animals from escaping and requires clips to secure it to your tank.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Reptile and amphibian facts

  • Often mixed up, reptiles and amphibians are different in many ways. Most amphibians have wet skin and require moist, humid conditions to stay hydrated. Reptiles have dry, scaly skin and can survive in hot, harsh environments such as sandy deserts. The biggest difference between the two is that amphibians start their lives in water as larvae called tadpoles, whereas reptiles all start their lives on dry land, usually hatching from leathery eggs.
  • Reptiles and amphibians are both cold blooded, meaning they have to consciously regulate their body temperature by basking in the sun to warm up and seeking shelter if they get too hot.
  • Baby frogs, called tadpoles, are omnivorous and eat just about anything to fuel their transforming bodies. Adult frogs, however, are predators that feed on insects and any other animals small enough to swallow.

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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