If you like us and the “normal” pet isn’t going to cut it and you’re looking for something a bit more exotic that requires less space and is small enough for an apartment, you’re in the right place!

First things first, when looking for an exotic pet, people say they are difficult to care for. But this is far from the truth.

For example, a pet corn snake only needs its water changing daily or two days max, and they eat once per week.

Once you have the thermostat and heating installed, change the bedding every 2 weeks or month your pet snake is happy.

Snakes do not need our attention all the time, though they tolerate being handled. For example, you could feed and water a snake for 6 months and not hold them at all, then decide I want to hold them 3 times the following week, your snake doesn’t mind.

A pet reptile (choosing the right one is important) can be the easiest pet you will every own.


We have included only reptiles which do not require a bigger cage than 3ft long, which is small.

This means in this list, there is a pet reptile that will suit every type of person.

Now, we have not included bearded dragons in the list and do not recommend as a small pet reptile.

Whilst they are small, their enclosure will need to be upgraded in size and the most common is 5ft long. So, while it is a small pet reptile, the space it may require should be known when your priority is the size.


When looking for a pet reptile, one thing often overlooked is how long they live for.

Dogs live on average 8 – 12 years old.

Snakes & lizards can range anywhere between 10 – 40 years old

Tortoises are even more extreme some living over 100 years old, likely surpassing your own life.

Always read everything you can about the specific reptile you would like as a pet as it could have some hidden dealbreakers you didn’t know of.

1. Corn Snake

The corn snake is by a country mile the best pet snake to own.

They are small, growing to only 3-4ft long on average.

Corn snakes have brilliant temperaments and great for households with children.

A super hardy snake if you’re a beginner and their care requirements are very easy.

Baby Corn Snake Normal

2. Leopard Gecko

If you are edging to the side of lizards, leopard geckos are fantastic.

They require even smaller space, happily in a 2ft long enclosure and for the most part these pet lizards tolerate handling well.

The care for leopard geckos is very simple also, and their feeding is easy enough to pick up and get into the routine.

A brilliant pet lizard for anyone looking for their first pet reptile!

Leopard Gecko Morph

3. Russian Tortoise

Now onto the first tortoise, if you know how long they live for and you still are ready for your first pet tortoise, the Russian is defiantly the most highly recommended.

They do require some attention and fresh food to keep them healthy, but the size of these tortoises is perfect for people looking for the smallest, best pet tortoise.

baby russian tortoise

4. Hognose Snake

If by small you mean tiny, a hognose could be the ideal small pet snake for you.

They only grow to around 1ft in length and happily will live in a 1.5ft-2ft enclosure.

They are good pets and are also a snake species which is active during the daytime hours.

Hognoses are less tolerant than corn snakes overall but spend a little time find the right one and they are just as docile.

Anaconda Hognose

5. Crested Gecko

Crested geckos make great pets, they are small and only require a 2ft cage at least 2ft tall.

For beginners we would recommend the leopard gecko first due to humidity and the gel pot mixes.

But they are fantastic first pet lizards that are small and take up very little room.

Great with kids, and as docile and friendly as a leopard gecko, these make for a great pet lizard for anyone looking for a small pet.

Baby Crested Gecko

6. King Snake

King snakes require similar caging requirements as a corn snake, an enclosure of 3ft should be absolutely fine.

King snakes love their food, so feeding is never an issue but when it comes to handling king snakes can get giddy and think your finger is food if surprised.

King Snake


We believe these are by far the best small pet reptile for anyone looking into lizard, tortoises or snakes. 

If you have any you would recommend, we would love to hear from you!

There are smaller reptiles for sale, but for the average person looking for the 1st to 5th reptile, these by far make for the best choice for a keeper.

A pet reptile is a fantastic choice, and these reptiles will be sure to make you into a reptile lover forever!


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