Exo Terra Sand Mat Review
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Using a sand mat as a substrate in your tank will be safe for your reptile. In this Exo Terra Sand Mat review, we will talk about its advantages and disadvantages as well as the pros and cons.

If you want to keep a reptile in your terrarium as a pet, then the perfect choice for you would be a bearded dragon. These creatures are found in Australia, and they mostly live in woodlands, shrublands, and deserts.

Now you can’t just keep a bearded dragon in a glass tank and call it a day. There are some requirements that you have to take care of. One of the most vital things you need is a substrate for it to live on.

In their initial environment, they spend most of their time below the sand. However, there are different kinds of bedding that you can use instead of sand, such as cage liners, clay, synthetic carpets, tiles, and newspapers.

But if you want to create an environment for the reptile that is as realistic as a dessert, we suggest that you use a sand-like substrate inside your terrarium. A sand mat, for instance, will reduce the likelihood of gut impaction.

Gut impaction happens when reptiles swallow objects like pebbles and gravel. This can lead to the clogging of the intestinal tract. If not treated immediately, it might cause death to the reptile.

Then based on the review, you can decide whether or not to buy this product.

Things to Consider Before Buying

Before thinking of buying a reptile, you need to consider the place where you are going to keep it, what substrate you are going to use, etc. There is also the question of providing sufficient heat and lighting for your habitat.

You can find different kinds of bedding for your reptile, but you also have to know how to maintain them. For instance, anytime your substrate starts to smell or become soiled, you have to clean or replace it.


Even when using a substrate substitute, you have to keep it clean for the reptile regularly. The sand mat, for instance, is a convenient substitute for a substrate.

You don’t have to comb through the sand looking for dirt; you can remove it and take it for a wash.

·      Not An Actual Substrate

Although the Exo Terra looks very similar to sand, it does not have all the features of an actual sand substrate. If you want a natural substrate, then this product is not for you.

Many of you might not like the unusual look of a cage that is carpet lined. Since the reptiles are used to being in a desert, they might respond well to an environment that is as natural sand as a substrate.

Therefore, if you’d rather have a real substrate, we suggest you try the Zoo Med Repti Sand. It is made of authentic sand colors and does not have any dyes or pigments.

This natural-looking substrate will encourage amphibians and reptiles to burrow and dig in the sand. Also, it will not cause a gut impaction because the substrate is properly grounded.

Presenting The Exo Terra Sand Mat

The Exo Terra Sand Mat is a carpet that is used as a substitute for a substrate. It pretty much gives off the natural appearance of a desert. You can use it as a hygienic and safe substrate substitute for the reptiles.

The sand mat is known for its minimal build-up of bacteria. Usually, loose soil or sand is ingested by reptiles like the bearded dragon, which could fatally harm them. But with this substitute, you don’t need to worry about any of that.

Generally, it takes a reptile some time to familiarize itself with its new terrarium environment. But the texture of this mat will allow your reptile to have a secure grip, and this will increase its sense of comfort or safety.

You can cut the sand mat according to the size of your terrarium and fit it into the bottom of the tank. It is effortless to rinse and clean it since it can be removed without any effort.

However, the substrate substitute dominating the market now is Zilla Reptile Terrarium Substrate Liner. It comes in different types of colors, and you can cut it to your preferred size.

Furthermore, it is reusable and made of recycled materials. It contains biodegradable enzymes to lessen smells.


  • It has a realistic desert look
  • The natural sandy texture helps reptiles feel safe
  • It has very fewer chances of causing ingestion
  • Suitable for desert reptiles


  • Initially appears dusty
  • Hard to get rid of the odor
  • Sand and gravel are a bit loose

Exo Terra Sand Mat Review: Features and Benefits

·      Hygienic and Safe Substrate Substitute

exo terra sand mat for reptiles
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Other than having a natural desert look, this sand mat is also very healthy and safe for the reptiles. You can keep a variety of reptiles on it, such as bearded dragons, chuckwallas, collared lizards, leopard geckos, etc.

The carpet is pretty soft to tread on and provides excellent traction. It contains a minimum number of bacteria in it, so your reptile will remain healthy and thrive in the terrarium.

Unlike other models, the gravel and soil stay firmly on the sand mat. So the reptile will not suffer from gut impaction. Moreover, it will enjoy the sandy texture, which is very similar to the desert sand.

·      Easy to Remove and Clean

The flexible mat is quite easy to remove from the terrarium. You don’t have to clean it very often. Also, you can reuse it as many as you want to. However, you have to be a little careful while rinsing it.

This is because the gravel and soil might come off quickly if you clean it too vigorously.

Final Words

Reptiles are incredible pets to have in a terrarium, especially a bearded dragon. Choosing the right kind of substrate substitute, like this one, will help you a long way.

As this sand mat imitates the naturalistic environment of a desert, your reptile is guaranteed to thrive in the tank.

We hope our Exo Terra Sand Mat review was informative. If you are looking for an efficient substitute substrate without breaking your bank, this is a must-have!

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