The Best Ball Python Enclosures + Tips for the Perfect Terrarium Setup

Updated: February 7, 2022 by Jennifer Munsell

If you are considering bringing home a new ball python, you have probably asked yourself the question: What is the best ball python enclosure?

One of the most exciting parts about getting a new reptile is picking out terrarium decor and setting up the enclosure for the first time. But, if you are new to snake-keeping, maybe you feel overwhelmed at all of the different options out there.

The good news is that ball pythons are very easy to take care of. They have only a few special care requirements and don’t require a huge terrarium to thrive. They are also very calm-tempered. The combination of all these factors makes them a great snake to own whether you are a beginner or an experienced reptile owner.

Because they are so hardy and versatile, choosing a ball python enclosure comes mostly down to your personal preference. However, there are a few things you’ll want to consider, including how much floor space there is, how you will heat the terrarium, and what your budget is.

In this article, we do a deep dive into the top tanks for ball pythons to help you pick the right one for your new scaly friend.

TOP PICK

After carefully reviewing all of the options for ball python enclosures, our top pick is the Carolina Custom Cages 36x18x18 Terrarium. This terrarium is similar in size to a 40-gallon breeder, which is the recommended size for a ball python. Unlike a regular tank, however, this terrarium has lockable front-opening doors.

It’s easy to assemble and is also the most budget-friendly on our list of recommendations!

The Best Ball Python Enclosures Are…


Are you preparing to purchase your first ball python, but you feel overwhelmed at all of the terrarium options out there? After all, you just want to make sure your pet is comfortable and happy in their new home!

1. Carolina Custom Cages 36x18x18 Terrarium — Best Terrarium for Ball Pythons

Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium, Large 36Lx18Dx18H; Easy Assembly

This terrarium is the ultimate choice for a ball python enclosure. Not only is it the most budget-friendly option on our list, but it also has some excellent features that make it a great choice for your scaly pet.

It’s the equivalent of a 40-gallon breeder tank, which is the minimum amount of space that a ball python needs to thrive.

Key Features

  • Glass terrarium
  • Front-opening doors
  • Key-lock security
  • Screen ventilation

Glass is great for retaining heat in your ball python’s enclosure, which means you should have no problem creating a perfect habitat. Additionally, the front-opening doors make feeding and getting your ball python out of the enclosure a breeze.

This terrarium’s key-lock security will prevent any mishaps, such as your ball python escaping! This is a huge plus if you have children or frequent visitors in your home, and you’ll never have to worry about your pet getting loose and accidentally hurting itself!

Pros

  • More budget-friendly than other similar enclosures
  • Easy assembly
  • Terrarium glass holds heat well

Cons

  • Somewhat small for an adult ball python
  • The lock feature isn’t the most secure

If you are looking for an enclosure that meets the minimum requirement for a ball python, will hold a proper temperature gradient, and won’t break the bank, look no further!

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2. REPTI ZOO 67 Gallon Glass Terrarium

REPTI ZOO 67 Gallon Reptile Glass Terrarium, Double Hinge Door with Screen Ventilation Reptile Terrarium 36" x 24" x 18"(Knock-Down)

This 67-gallon terrarium is slightly larger than the standard 40 gallons, so your ball python will have more space to slither and explore.

Made out of glass with a screen top, this tank will hold temperatures well while also providing lots of airflow.

Key Features

  • Glass terrarium
  • Double-hinge doors
  • Screen ventilation
  • Raised bottom frame

When it comes to choosing a terrarium for your new ball python, having double-hinge doors will make your life so much easier. You can open one door to feed or perform tank maintenance without worrying about your snake escaping while you aren’t looking!

If you choose to heat your ball python’s enclosure using a heat mat that goes under the terrarium, the raised frame will make this much simpler.

Pros

  • Terrarium glass is ideal for retaining heat
  • Raised frame makes it easy to add a substrate heater
  • Double-hinge doors allow for easy feedings

Cons

  • Only slightly larger than the minimum recommended size
  • Unusual dimensions might make finding a terrarium stand difficult

Maybe you want to provide your ball python with more space than the bare minimum recommended, but you don’t have a huge budget. If that’s the case, this terrarium might be your perfect fit!

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3. Oiibo 67 Gallon Glass Terrarium

Oiibo 67 Gallon Reptiles Premium White Knock Down Glass Terrarium, Sliding Door with Screen Ventilation Habitat 48" x 18" x 18" Easy Assembly

You would think this product would be the same size as the REPTI ZOO 67 gallon terrarium, but it has a few key differences. Most important are the dimensions; while the REPTI ZOO 67 gallon is only 36 inches long, the Oiibo is 48 inches long!

While all of the other terrariums on our list of best ball python enclosures are black, this one is clean white. This makes it perfect if your home has a minimalist aesthetic and you don’t want the tank to stand out too much.

Key Features

  • Glass terrarium
  • Sliding door
  • White frame
  • Screen ventilation

With sliding glass doors, the Oiibo terrarium looks very sleek while providing plenty of space for your pet. Four feet long and a foot and a half wide, you will have tons of room to decorate to your heart’s content.

Unlike the other terrariums on our list, this one has sliding glass doors instead of doors that swing outward. This can be extremely beneficial when cleaning or interacting with your pet because they are less likely to get in the way or get caught on things.

Pros

  • Maintains the proper humidity and temperature gradient
  • Sliding doors stay out of the way when opened
  • Has a raised frame for substrate heating

Cons

  • More expensive than other terrariums of the same size
  • The white framing may show dirt more easily than black would

If you are looking for something that looks a little nicer and sleeker than your average terrarium, look no further than the Oiibo 67 gallon. Its unique white color makes it very aesthetically appealing.

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4. REPTI ZOO 85 Gallon Reptile Terrarium

REPTI ZOO Large Reptile Terrarium 85 Gallon, Glass Reptile Tank 48" x 18"x 24", Wide & Tall Habitat Tank for Tortoise Snake, Top Screen Ventilation

This terrarium has similar dimensions to the Oiibo 67 gallon. It is around four feet long, 18 inches wide, and two feet tall.

Made out of glass with both top and side ventilation, this terrarium provides plenty of airflow. Depending on your setup, you may have to put in a bit more effort to maintain the proper humidity level for your ball python.

Key Features

  • Tempered glass
  • Front sliding door
  • Top screen ventilation
  • Side ventilation

Like other REPTI ZOO products, the base of this tank is raised, so installing a substrate heater is a simple task. Additionally, the anti-escape lock prevents your snake from exploring your home without your knowledge!

Pros

  • Sliding doors can open both ways, making feeding a breeze
  • Tempered glass is less likely to show scratches
  • Easy assembly

Cons

  • Having both top and side ventilation may make it more difficult to maintain humidity
  • Not as budget-friendly as other options

This terrarium is large, has convenient sliding doors, and provides plenty of ventilation. If you have a slightly larger budget and want your ball python to have plenty of space, this is the terrarium for you!

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5. REPTI ZOO 100 Gallon Large Reptile Terrarium

REPTI ZOO Large Glass Reptile Terrarium 100 Gallon, Vertical Reptile Habitat Tank 36" x 18"x 36", Wide & Tall Chameleon Cage with Top Screen Ventilation (Knock-Down)

Are you looking for something more unique than a standard terrarium? This 100-gallon terrarium is very similar in dimensions to a 40-gallon breeder, but with one main difference – it’s nearly twice as tall!

This ball python terrarium features lockable double doors as well as wire inlets for keeping your various lighting and heating cables organized.

Key Features

  • Vertical terrarium
  • Made of glass
  • Wire organization
  • Lockable doors

The vertical space in this terrarium makes it really fun to decorate. Keep in mind that ball pythons aren’t great climbers, though.

Because it’s so tall, you can heat this terrarium in a variety of ways: with a bulb mounted inside the tank, a bulb sitting on the screen top, or with a substrate heater on the bottom of the terrarium glass!

Pros

  • Multiple options for terrarium heating
  • Provides extra space to add decor such as ledges
  • Wire inlets allow for easy organization of light and thermometer cords

Cons

  • Has a lot of vertical space that might not be useful to a ball python
  • Not as budget-friendly as other options

This enclosure can make the perfect centerpiece to a room when decorated, but keep in mind that your ball python won’t really be able to make the most out of the space because of the tall dimensions.

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best ball python enclosure

How to Choose the Best Terrarium for Your Ball Python

At the end of the day, the best ball python enclosure is going to depend on the age of your pet snake and what kind of budget you have. There is nothing wrong with choosing a smaller enclosure as long as it meets the minimum requirement; however, if you have the funds, you may opt for a larger enclosure that will give your scaly baby more room to roam.

While there’s no perfect enclosure, these are the considerations you should keep in mind when deciding on a terrarium for your ball python.

Sufficient Floor Space

A 40-gallon is the minimum for a ball python for good reason.

Keep in mind that these snakes grow to lengths of four to five feet, so as with other terrestrial reptiles, having sufficient floor space is a must. This also means that horizontal enclosures – terrariums that are longer than they are tall – are much preferred over vertical enclosures.

Ball pythons are not big climbers in the wild or in captivity, so they won’t be able to make the best use out of a tall terrarium.

Holds Heat and Maintains Humidity

Ball pythons are tropical snakes, which means they need a warm, humid habitat to be healthy and happy. Because of this, one of your biggest priorities when choosing an enclosure should be finding one that maintains heat and humidity levels well.

The material an enclosure is made of has the greatest effect on this. For example, glass is great at retaining temperatures and humidity levels. Before purchasing a tank, it’s a great idea to read the reviews and see if anyone has had any issues with maintaining conditions.

Easy Access

It’s important to choose a terrarium that has front-opening doors, whether they are sliding doors or hinged. This will allow you easy access as opposed to having to remove a screen top every time you want to interact with your snake or clean the enclosure.

Additionally, some reptiles get spooked when they are picked up from overhead, so having a front-opening enclosure means you are less likely to startle or stress them.

FAQs on Ball Python Tanks

What is the best size tank for a ball python?

The minimum recommended tank size for a ball python is a 40-gallon breeder, which is roughly 36 inches long by 18 inches wide.

This is enough space for a ball python to live comfortably, but many breeders and hobbyists recommend a 48 by 24-inch enclosure, which is the equivalent of 120 gallons! While this may seem like overkill, it will give your ball python much more space to explore. As an added plus, you’ll have more room for adding terrarium decor!

Baby ball pythons are also sometimes kept in smaller tank sizes, like 20 or 30 gallons, but you should upgrade them into a larger enclosure as they grow.

Do snakes grow according to tank size?

This is a popular misconception, similar to the myth that goldfish will only grow to the size of the aquarium they are kept in.

Snakes will continue to grow to their natural adult size regardless of the terrarium size they are kept in, which is why it’s so important that you make sure you provide your ball python with adequate space to move and explore.

Sure, you can stick a ball python in a tiny enclosure and they may survive, but they won’t thrive and they definitely won’t be at their healthiest. Keep in mind that 40 gallons is the minimum for a ball python, but bigger is often better!

Can a tank be too big for a ball python?

When it comes to ball pythons, a bigger tank is not always better. In some cases a bigger tank is preferable, but that isn’t always the case – which is why 40 gallons is the recommended minimum size!

Keep in mind that ball pythons in captivity often get stressed in huge enclosures. This can cause preventable issues such as excessive hiding and not eating.

You can combat this by making sure your ball python’s enclosure has a lot of nooks and crannies. You don’t want them to be cramped, but add enough embellishment so they feel safe and secure in their environment.

A Final Word on the Best Snake Enclosures for Ball Pythons

Getting a new pet is exciting, but it can also be stressful. This is especially true for reptiles! You want to make sure everything is prepared so that they have the perfect habitat when they arrive.

Ball pythons are excellent beginner snakes with easy care requirements. With that being said, there’s a lot to consider when you are choosing the perfect ball python enclosure. You should provide them with adequate floor space so they have room to move, but you also don’t want to overwhelm them with lots of free space.

If you are looking for the most highly-rated and budget-friendly option, the Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium is by far the best way to go!

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