- What is the Best Hamster Cage Bedding?
- Different Types of Hamster Bedding
- 5 More Top Rated Hamster Beddings
Hamsters are cute fluffy animals that can be a great pet to love and care for. They love to build nests in their natural environments and will often try to replicate this process in the environment you create for them. Depending on the type of hamster you purchase, you may find your pet loves burrowing deep into their bedding – this is often common behavior of Syrian hamsters. Allowing your little fluffy companion to enjoy an environment that closely mirrors their natural environment will mean your pet gets to live the most comfortable and healthy life along with you.
Bedding is an integral part of keeping your hamster safe and happy. Bedding that allows your pet to create a place to cozy into is ideal, and it also needs to be super absorbent and safe in case your fluffball accidentally ingests some of it. Hamsters tend to chew away at their bedding because of their ever-growing teeth and may even store some of it away into their big cheeks. While not intentionally trying to consume their bedding, they may accidentally swallow pieces here and there. This is why it is crucial to choose a product that is safe and non-toxic.
Odor control is another important aspect of bedding – hamsters have a sensitive sense of smell and humans can always pick up on that super strong scent of ammonia produced by urine. This odor can be so overpowering, your entire home may be affected. Luckily for you, we have picked out some of the best hamster cage bedding options and listed them below. These are products that have your pet’s best health in mind and also look out for your cleaning ease.
What is the Best Hamster Cage Bedding?
- Carefresh Small Animal Bedding, Natural
- Kaytee Clean & Cozy Natural Small Animal Bedding
- Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding
- Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding
- Kaytee Clean & Cozy Scented Small Animal Bedding
- Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Small Animal Bedding
- Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding, Natural
Different Types of Hamster Bedding
- Aspen Shavings – Aspen shavings are one of the few kinds of wood shavings that are safe enough to use for hamster bedding. This option is usually very cost-effective and will provide a natural looking and natural feeling environment for your hamster. These shavings, however, do not provide the cuddly softness your hamster prefers and are much less absorbent than other materials or mix of materials available for this purpose. If you opt for aspen shavings as your hamster’s habitat base, you will find that odor may become an issue as well. While there are some plus sides to using this option, ultimately you will be compromising your pet’s comfort and potentially your own comfort at home due to unpleasant odors. While aspen shavings may be found outside of pet stores, it is important to only choose an option that is sold at a pet store because it will have been properly treated to clear it of any mites or other insects which may have found a home within the shavings.
- Recycled Paper – Although commercially available products use recycled paper as part of a mix of materials, if you find yourself in a bind, shredded plain paper can offer a solution. This is generally soft and liked by hamsters because it can be fluffed up, an activity they love partaking in. However, shredded paper does not offer odor protection and the clean-up process will likely be unpleasant and stinky. In addition, using paper without any ink printed on it is very important. Since hamsters tend to chew on their bedding materials, they need to be provided with bedding that is non-toxic and safe if ingested.
- Plant-Based Paper Fibers – Plant-based paper fibers, like those use by Kaytee, offer a highly absorbent, 99% dust-free option that is not only practical but also soft and cuddly which your hamster loves. This material also offers efficient odor control and can be a great solution for hamster bedding.
- Cellulose Fiber – Cellulose fiber is another option that is extremely absorbent and keeps cages free of moisture. This material has the capacity to hold up to three times its own weight in liquid, making clean-up less messy. It is also a soft option that will keep your hamster comfortable and will allow him to enjoy his burrowing and foraging activities. This is a more pricy option than say, aspen shavings, but the benefits can absolutely be worth it to not only make your hamster’s living environment the best it could be, but also help keep your home from emanating strong, unpleasant smells, and make your life just a tad bit easier with more efficient cleaning.
- Timothy Hay – Timothy hay is also considered suitable bedding for hamsters. It is easy to find at most pet stores and is a safe material. Timothy hay is often included in hamster food formulations and can be ingested as a supplement to a balanced diet. Therefore, this type of bedding would serve multiple functions. It is not as soft and cuddly as some of the other materials available for bedding and its absorbency rate is not quite as high, but it is an option that could be utilized if need be.
- Materials to Avoid – Just as there are materials that are suitable for hamster bedding and others that are more ideal, there are also several materials that should be avoided at all costs. For example, cedar and pine wood shavings should not be used inside your hamster’s cage. These materials are abrasive and could easily injure your pet and potentially cause infections. In addition, these materials could have a detrimental interaction with your hamster’s urine that could create toxic fumes. Aside from these wood shavings, extra fluffy beddings should be avoided, dependent upon what they are made of. Stores often stock ultra-fluffy bedding options that may seem attractive to provide; however, these are made from artificial fibers that would be toxic to hamsters if they ingest it.
|Our 2023 Picks: Best Hamster Cage Bedding|
|Carefresh Small Animal Bedding, Natural
|Kaytee Clean & Cozy Natural Small Animal Bedding
|Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding
|Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding
|Kaytee Clean & Cozy Scented Small Animal Bedding
|Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Small Animal Bedding
|Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding, Natural
- Made with naturally reclaimed paper fiber
- Odor formula helps to keep urine odors at bay
- 2X more absorbent than wood shavings
- Virtually dust-free to prevent dust inhalation
Overall Best Hamster Bedding – This small pet bedding by Carefresh provides an absorbent habitat for your hamster. It is made with “comfyfluff,” a naturally reclaimed paper fiber that is not only compostable, but also biodegradable. This material is two times more absorbent than wood shavings, keeping your pet comfortable longer.
This high-performance bedding not only offers comfort for your pet, it also contains a proven odor control formula that protect your nose from the heavy smell of ammonia produced by urine. When changing out bedding, you will not need to worry about excess dust kick-up because this product is virtually dust-free.
With Carefresh, you will not have to deal with bedding that falls apart or sticks to the bottom of your pet’s cage, making clean-up difficult. This bedding is created for the comfort of your pet and for your ease of use. Plus, knowing that you are using a renewable source is a great way to help your pet, yourself, and protect the environment along the way.
- Multiple features for your pet’s care
- Made with comfy fluff for ultimate comfort
- Biodegradable and compostable material
- Proprietary odor control formula
- The natural scent of this material may not pair well with some consumers
- 20% more absorbent than other products
- Made from eco-friendly materials
- 99% dust-free to keep cages cleaner
- Expandable materials to hold moisture
Runner Up – Kaytee’s natural animal bedding for small pets contains odor through its absorbency. Although small pets may have a reputation for creating a stinky environment, odor is often due to poor bedding materials and infrequent bedding changes.
This bedding is made with all-natural recyclable materials and does not contain any artificial additives or coloring. It is 20% more absorbent than some of the leading brands available on the market. With this bedding, you can cover your hamster’s cage up to two to three inches and keep changing it on a weekly basis.
This bedding is safe and perfect for burrowing and foraging. It creates a cozy environment for your hamster to enjoy day in and day out and since it is 99% dust-free, it will protect both you and your hamster from breathing in dust. The dust-free aspect of this product also helps with maintaining a clean cage, which is crucial to keep your pet healthy and happy.
- Holds up to 4X its weight in liquid
- Dust-free to maintain cleanliness
- Expandable and ultra-absorbent
- Some picky pets may not like the material of this product
5 More Top Rated Hamster Beddings
Carefresh’s small animal bedding is made with a blend of materials that make it ultra-comfortable for your pet. It includes kiln-dried softwoods and “comfyfluff” pieces to provide a bedding that is not only extremely soft, it is also up to 60% more absorbent than if you were to use wood shavings alone. The comfyfluff pieces are made with natural reclaimed fibers that are eco-friendly, meaning they are biodegradable and compostable. This product also includes a proven odor control formula that can keep the strong smell of urine from overpowering your environment for up to five days. Odor control is an important aspect of this product, as Carefresh acknowledges the importance of maintaining an odor-free home in between bedding changes. This makes your space a lot more comfortable for your family, guests, and other pets. It is 97% dust-free, which keeps cages clean and makes breathing a lot easier during bedding changes. Your hamster’s natural burrowing instinct is encouraged with these materials and your hamster will be able to enjoy a comfortable, familiar environment that helps him stay clean and dry.
Keeping your hamster’s cage environment comfortable, dry, and free of odors is a breeze with Kaytee’s clean and cozy small animal bedding. With this product, you can cover your pet’s cage floor with one to three inches of the material and not worry about it for another week. It is 20% more absorbent than many of the most popular products available on the market. Changing out bedding is made easy because it is 99% dust-free, so you won’t need to worry about wiping down excess dust or inhaling it on a regular basis. This material is eco-friendly and offers a comfortable, easy-to-clean, absorbent place for your hamster to burrow, play, and live in comfortably. This product does not have any scent – keeping a standard bedding change schedule will assist with letting this product’s odor control do its work.
Although many small bedding products available are unscented, if you are looking for bedding that has a pleasant aroma, this is a great option. It offers all the features of an unscented version, except with a soft and soothing lavender scent. It is more absorbent than most of the leading products commercially available. It also controls odor excellently with additional lavender-scented pieces to keep the strong ammonia smell from permeating your home environment. This product will expand up to three times its size and remains dust-free to make bedding changes easy and cleaner than other dusty options. The scented aspect of this product is great for keeping your hamster’s home smelling good as well as the environment you have placed your pet’s habitat in. It is safe for your pet’s use and your hamster can also enjoy the soothing scent during burrowing and foraging activities.
This small bedding product by Vitakraft is great for moisture absorption and odor control, two critical aspects of creating a comfortable and healthy environment for your hamster. Vitakraft’s crumble bedding is made of extremely soft crumbles that can absorb up to three times their weight in liquid. They kick up less dust than other brands (99.5% dust-free) to make cleaning easier and less messy. This bedding has an odor blocker formula that keeps your small pet’s environment free from overpowering odors for up to 14 days. This product is made from 100% recycled paper and is non-toxic and unbleached to keep your pet safe.
Oxbow’s pure comfort small animal bedding is great for eliminating the unpleasant odors that emanate from your pet’s home environment. Without a good quality bedding, odors tend to accumulate, soiling entire environments, and making clean-up unnecessarily messy. With a good quality bedding, like Oxbow’s natural bedding, your hamster can enjoy a clean, ultra-soft environment in his habitat. This product absorbs up too 800% of its own weight in moisture, boasts fantastic odor control, and makes your clean-up time faster and more efficient. It is made from pure paper than has never been printed, which means it is extra soft and comfortable for your little fur buddy. With just one to three inches of this product laid out on the floor of your hamster’s cage, you will be all set for a week. This product is packaged neatly and conveniently to help with your storage needs and it expands more than 250% in volume once utilized.
- What can be used as bedding for a hamster? There are several options that hamsters have for bedding. Cardboard can be used because it is somewhat absorbent and can be ripped into smaller pieces to create an environment a hamster can burrow in and forage through. However, any ink printed on cardboard could pose a risk, so it is best to use clean carboard pieces. Since this material is coarse, it can be quite uncomfortable for a hamster but could work in a pinch if needed. Most commercially developed options are made with soft paper pieces that are easy to fluff. Some products are made from pine and cedar wood shavings which do not offer a great absorbency rate and can be quite painful and uncomfortable if splintered into your hamster’s skin – these injuries could even lead to infection.
- What is the best bedding for a hamster? The best bedding for a hamster is the one he takes to that is safe, non-toxic, and ultra-absorbent. You may find your hamster is particular about his bedding choice and will not like certain materials. The good news is you have options available on the market that offer a safe, comfortable environment with different materials, or a mix of materials. A dust-free option is ideal, as it will not only make breathing easier, it will also make the bedding change process simpler and less messy. A good bedding will offer great absorption, comfortability and softness, and odor control to keep that ammonia smell from overpowering your home.
- How often should you change the bedding in a hamster cage? How often you change the bedding in your hamster’s cage is dependent on a few factors. For instance, if you have more than one hamster, you will need to change out bedding more frequently. Also, knowing your hamster’s habits is important – if the cage gets dirty quickly, frequent bedding changes will also be required. Odor is another important factor when determining how often to change your hamster’s bedding. If odor becomes an issue after only a few days, upgrading to a better bedding could be in order; otherwise, more frequent cleanings will be advised. This is ultimately a judgment call on your end, dependent on the factors listed above. Some products will advise in their labeling and instructions how often the bedding should be changed but that isn’t always the best instruction for every individual’s case. However, a good rule of thumb without extenuating factors is to change out the bedding once per week. Not only should the bedding be changed out, you should also be careful to clear out the cage of any residue, ensuring all nooks and crannies are clean before placing new bedding into the environment. Maintaining a clean space for your hamster is vital for his health and your home.
- Is it normal for a hamster to eat its bedding? It is common for hamsters to chew on and sometimes ingest their bedding. Hamster teeth keep growing throughout their lives and chewing on different materials helps to trim them down. This is a normal behavior that hamsters engage in; however, it could be problematic if they are chewing on paper printed with ink, for instance. If there are any toxic materials embedded within your hamster’s bedding, this could pose a dire health risk. Choosing a non-toxic bedding that is safe enough to ingest is important to keep your fluffy buddy safe and secure.
- Are toilet paper rolls safe for hamsters? Toiler paper, even if chewed on ingested, is safe for hamsters, so long as it is plain and unscented. This can often be a soft addition to pet bedding, and it works will with urine absorption and for providing the softness hamsters crave. Hamsters will not intentionally eat toilet paper; their intention is to chew it up and store it in their cheeks to be used for bedding. Since toilet paper is designed to dissolve, even when ingested, it will break apart inside your hamster’s tummy and passing it will be of no consequence. Hamsters get excited at the sight of toilet paper because they love soft and cuddly materials that can be used to keep them comfortable.
There you have it! Some of the products available on the market, although cheap, may not be the best for your pet. With a little care in choosing the right product, you can ensure your hamster feels loved, not only when held by you, but also by knowing that you are providing a comfortable, safe, and cozy environment he can call home.
Manufacturers of good products not only keep the comfort and safety of your pet in mind, but also consider you. When there is so much to consider for a small pet, it can feel overwhelming. That’s why we did the work for you. The top picks above make it easy for you to care for your small fur buddy!