The Best Pet Gecko: A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Gecko Companion

Geckos are fascinating reptiles that have become popular pets for many people. They are known for their docile nature, pleasant personalities, and relatively easy care requirements. With over 1,600 different species of geckos, it can be overwhelming to choose the best pet gecko for yourself. In this article, we will explore the top 5 best pet geckos based on their lifespan, size, temperament, and availability.

Before we delve into our list, it’s important to note that geckos have a relatively long lifespan, ranging between 10 and 20 years. Therefore, owning a gecko should not be taken lightly as it requires a long-term commitment. Additionally, it is highly recommended to acquire a captive-bred gecko from a reputable breeder rather than a wild-caught one. Wild-caught geckos may carry diseases or ailments, and in some regions, it may even be illegal to take reptiles from the wild.

Now, let’s explore our top 5 list of the best pet geckos:

1. Leopard Geckos (Eublepharis macularius):

– Lifespan: 10-20 years

– Adult size: 7-10 inches

– Personality: Docile and easily tamed

– Care: Controlled heating

– Price: Pure Leopard geckos are usually $20 to $40, while morphs can fetch prices well over $100, depending upon the pattern (or lack thereof)

Leopard geckos are crepuscular species naturally found in burrows around the dry areas of Pakistan. Although they are most active between dusk and dawn, in captivity, they are known to come out during the day as well. Unlike other geckos, leopard geckos do not have sticky hands, which means they cannot climb walls or other vertical surfaces. These geckos come in a variety of colors, but they are commonly yellow, white, and spotted with black dots. Hatchlings start off more striped and gradually change to the spotted appearance. There are also several morphs available, which include almost every color of the rainbow. Leopard geckos are one of the few gecko species that have distinct outer ears and eyelids.

2. African Fat-Tailed Geckos (Hemitheconyx caudicinctus):

– Lifespan: 10-20 years

– Adult size: 6-10 inches

– Personality: Calm and curious

– Care: Controlled heating

– Price: Typically around $50 to $100

African Fat-Tailed geckos are closely related to leopard geckos and share similar care requirements. They are known for their calm and curious nature, making them great pets for beginners. Like leopard geckos, they are also nocturnal but may be active during the day in captivity. African Fat-Tailed geckos come in a range of colors and patterns, including banded, striped, and patternless. They have a healthy appetite and should be fed a diet consisting of insects and occasional small amounts of fruit.

3. Crested Geckos (Correlophus ciliatus):

– Lifespan: 15-20 years

– Adult size: 6-9 inches

– Personality: Docile and tolerant

– Care: Moderate humidity and temperature control

– Price: Usually between $50 and $150

Crested geckos, also known as eyelash geckos, are native to New Caledonia. They are arboreal, which means they spend most of their time in trees. Crested geckos have become increasingly popular as pets due to their unique appearance, docile nature, and ease of care. They have the ability to climb glass surfaces and possess a prehensile tail, which they use for balance. Crested geckos come in a variety of colors and patterns and can even change their coloration based on their environment. They are primarily insectivores but can also be fed a commercially available crested gecko diet.

4. Gargoyle Geckos (Rhacodactylus auriculatus):

– Lifespan: 15-20 years

– Adult size: 6-8 inches

– Personality: Calm and social

– Care: Moderate humidity, temperature control, and climbing structures

– Price: Typically between $75 and $200

Gargoyle geckos, also known as New Caledonian bumpy geckos, are another popular choice for reptile enthusiasts. They share a similar origin and care requirements with crested geckos. Gargoyle geckos have a distinctive appearance with bumpy skin and pronounced crests over their eyes. They are known for their calm and social nature, making them enjoyable pets. Gargoyle geckos come in various colors and patterns, and they possess a prehensile tail like crested geckos. They should be provided with climbing structures in their enclosure to fulfill their arboreal nature.

5. Tokay Geckos (Gekko gecko):

– Lifespan: 10-20 years

– Adult size: 10-12 inches

– Personality: Aggressive and territorial

– Care: Large enclosure, moderate humidity, and temperature control

– Price: Generally $20 to $50

The Tokay gecko is a unique and striking species known for its vibrant blue coloration and bright orange spots. Unlike the previous geckos mentioned, Tokay geckos have a more aggressive and territorial nature. They are not recommended for beginners as they require more experienced handling and care. Tokay geckos are native to Southeast Asia and are primarily insectivores. They are known for their vocalizations, which can be quite loud and startling. It’s essential to provide them with a large enclosure and ample hiding spots to accommodate their territorial behavior.


When choosing a pet gecko, it’s important to consider factors such as lifespan, size, temperament, care requirements, and availability. While each gecko on our top 5 list has its unique features and characteristics, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Remember to always choose a captive-bred gecko from a reputable breeder to ensure a healthy and well-adjusted companion. With proper care and attention, your pet gecko can provide you with years of joy and fascination.