The Best Bedding for Rats (Review) in 2021

Last Updated February 24, 2020

Rats are incredibly intelligent creatures and would make excellent pets for individuals who love nocturnally active animals. No doubt, rodents may scare many away because of the reputation they have for being dirty, or sneaking into homes and holes and eating food that wasn’t given to them. However, with proper care and wisdom, many of us have found these excellent learners to be quite easy to train, intelligent and fun. However, to successfully keep a pet rat, there need to be comfortable beddings in their cage that would help them relax during the day, and form a comfortable base to run around in at night. With multiple bedding options available on the market, we have provided a list of some of the best beddings suitable enough for your furry friend.

The Best Bedding for Rats


The Kaytee brand is known for their commitment to manufacturing quality beddings suitable for small pets alike. They make use of natural or highly quality recycled materials to make soft, fluffy beddings so that rats, hamsters, guinea pigs and the like can relax and play in.

Most times, during play-time, rats urinate in their habitat, not knowing any better of course. These droplets can make them uncomfortable and equally pose risks to their health. What’s more, ammonia smells are highly toxic, and only beddings in the class of the Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Pet Beddings are able to subdue smells and offer a dry habitat for longer.

These high quality paper beddings are well processed and 99.9% free of dust, making them a safe choice for pets. Additionally, rats can develop respiratory troubles quite easily, so they need fresh-smelling beddings that are completely dust-free to thrive.

Odor control

99.9% dust-free

absorbs 6x its weight in liquid

meets FDA standards

  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Model: 100037607
  • Weight: 5.16 pounds


The Kaytee All Natural Aspen Bedding is an all natural bedding that provides a soft and comfortable base for rats to rest and play, as well as a generous absorbent feature that reduces odors and wetness in the habitat. With no artificial colors or additives included, this is one of the most affordable quality rat beddings on the market. It’s made with all-natural Aspen shavings that are well processed, ensuring there are no dust or wooden debris that could be harmful to rats. This ensures rats can relax and play in their cage without developing any issues that could be detrimental to their health.

Another advantage of this Aspen bedding is its environmentally-friendly. They can be disposed of on the soil or sand thanks to their biodegradable feature that doesn’t pose any dangers to the environment. What’s more, the shavings can be placed in all types of cages or critter trails, soft enough not to hurt or pierce the rats soft skin. So, when thinking of purchasing the most affordable, yet quality beddings for rats, think of the Aspen Beddings for rats. It’s 100% natural, very absorbent and guarantees prolonged odor-control.

Affordable small pet bedding

Hard wood shavings

Dust and debris-free


  • Brand: Carefresh
  • Model: L0420
  • Weight: 8.5 pounds


The quality of life your rat enjoys is highly dependent on the type of bedding they are exposed to. It’s not enough to have soft beddings, they need to be dust-free, smooth on all ends and absorbent as well. These are some of the major qualities Carefresh Small Pet Bedding capitalize on. The fibers are extra soft and fluffy, forming an ultimately cozy base for rats to snooze on, and play in when awake. Plus, they come in different fun colors you can choose to match the décor or personalize their crib.

For sure, the colors would definitely add some vibrancy and pizzazz to the space where the cage is kept. And thanks to the compact packaging, the paper fibers actually double in size once the bag is open. This ensures the beddings lasts a lot longer than you initially thought, with enough fluff to change the litter adequately. In addition, thanks to the super absorbent fibers, these beddings will stay fresh for up to ten days before a full change and replacement would be required.

Made from scratch

Sourced from raw natural fibers

Fluffy and pillowy soft

Absorbent with odor control

  • Brand: Vitakraft
  • Model: 34754
  • Weight: 13.5 pounds


The Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding is packed with super soft beddings that promise up to 14 days of odor-control. They seem smaller than the regular paper fibers or wood shaving, but prove to be a great option for small pets. Each granule expands three times its size, absorbing more moisture and keeping the litter smelling fresher for up to two weeks. 

What’s more, the beddings are practically dust-free, and equally prove to be easy to clean. Simply replace areas that have rat droppings, while they enjoy a breathable environment to sleep and play. More so, some people drop baking powder in the beddings to keep them dry and prevent moisture. It’s not the safest method, that’s why Vitakraft is promising a baking-soda free paper-crumble that is still incredibly absorbent and super fresh.

Absorbs three timesits weight in moisture

Unbleached and baking-soda free

Soft and cozy

Made in USA

  • Brand: Healthy Pet
  • Model: L0178
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds


Rats need a fresh and non-harmful environment where they can dig, burrow and tunnel their way through a long night. They are relatively active and curious animals, so a safe and fun environment is vital. The Healthy Pet HPCC Natural Bedding provides that extra soft, fluffy platform for small pets to explore in. The super absorbent fibers also serve as a good base, that will stay dry overtime without letting out odd odors prematurely. What’s more, the fibers are able to absorb three times its weight in moisture, ensuring you have more fun bonding with the pet and less time emptying the litter.

And with guaranteed value to benefit from, each 12.5l pack expands to 30L when opened. So you have dry and fluffy beddings that will keep rats warm and cozy at night, and fresh and odorless overtime. Furthermore,these beddings are very absorbent, ensuring the habitat stays dry, longer. This means the beddings would stay smelling fresh for longer as well, providing a soft and fluffy base where curious rats can play and rest.

Long-lasting odor control

Absorbs 2x more moisture than wood shavings

99% dust-free

easy to clean

  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Model: 100032000
  • Weight: 1 pounds


Rats need a safe nesting place to sleep during the day and get those calories burning in the night time. Rat cage beddings are one of the most important provisions most pet owners have to consider. Getting the right one will determine how clean, odor-free and warm the rat stays overtime. And with the Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding, you can be assured of all those things and more. The paper fibers are adequately soft, providing a fluffy, comfortable base for rats to rest.

What’s more, these fibers are 99% dust and debris-free ensuring pet rats get premium quality beddings that won’t be detrimental to your pet’s health. And to keep them clean overtime, the unbleached white paper rat cage beddings make it easy to spot soiled or dirty areas. Easily scoop out stained areas and replace with fresh beddings, cleaning up only the messy spots until a complete change is required.

Soft and absorbent

Unbleached virgin fibers

99% sludge-free

toxic-free plant fibers

  • Brand: Small Pet Select
  • Model: JMWB
  • Weight: 8 pounds


As much as we love our pets, and want to domesticate them as soon as possible, there is a key fact to consider. Rats have a natural habitat, and even though they didn’t grow in the wild, there are some innate qualities that can’t be taken away from them. Quality beddings try to mimic as much as possible, the texture rats are familiar with. However, the So Phresh Paper Pellet Small Animal Litter takes it a step further.

The paper pellets are extra soft, definitely softer than what they’d be exposed to in the wild. Each fiber is dust and debris free and fluffy enough to encourage a good-days rest. For rats that are litter box trained, this would be a great rat litter base to keep the environment dry and odorless overtime. Furthermore, it offers that refreshing habitat rats love and owners long for, with the assurance of being easy to maintain and clean up.

Safe for small pet habitats

Contains baking soda

Biodegradable and environmentally-friendly

100% recycled paper

  • Brand: So Phresh
  • Weight: 20 pounds


The Sunseed Small Bedding Animal Bedding is made with 100% recycled paper. The critter care paper bedding guarantees 99% dust-free fibers that won’t be harmful to those cute rats’ nose. Don’t be deceived by those tiny paper crumbles, each piece is able to absorb good amounts of moisture. This allows the litter to stay smelling fresh for up to seven days before requiring replacements. Also included in the recycled paper mix is some baking soda, which acts as an additive that keeps odd smells away.

Being made with recycled newspapers and magazines, each granule weighs a lot more than you’d imagine. This ensures they soak up more moisture, and equally reduces the chances of them falling out of the cage when your rat starts burrowing or scuttling around. With vibrant colors that keep their crib looking lively and fun, this biodegradable bedding is definitely one of the best, absorbent and comfortable you’d find on the market.

Made with baking soda

Controls odors up to 7 days

Absorbs three times its weight in moisture

Phenol and dust-free

  • Brand: Sunseed
  • Model: 18222
  • Weight: 1 pounds

Best Beddings for Rats Buying Guide

Are you a lover of pet rats? Then you need to know how to give your pet rats the best kind of comfort while keeping both your own environments filth and odor – free.

Rat in the hay

Things to Consider Before Buying Bedding for Rat

Before purchasing any product, there are certain qualities you should watch out for.  With rat beddings, there is no exception because your pets’ safety and comfort matter too. Therefore, look out for the following when next you are shopping for rat beddings;

  • Materials: Your rats’ bedding should be made of absorbable materials to accommodate the inevitable liquid waste. Absorbable bedding means less cleaning time for you as well; it will take awhile before you need to clean out the cage bedding. Also, ensure the bedding is made of materials that control odors. The smell may not bother the rats as much as it would you, and everyone around.
  • Brand: The brand you buy is important because there are several types of sub-standard beddings that won’t deliver the results you want. Therefore, make adequate research before settling for a particular rat bedding brand.
  • Size: Your pet rats require enough running around and play-space. If you truly want them to feel as comfortable as possible and mimic their natural habitat, it needs to look and feel similar. As such, get beddings of the right size to allow your pet rats easy and free movements.
  • Warranty: Have you ever fallen victim to buying bad products that can’t be returned? It’s not the greatest feeling, so be careful to only go for rat beddings with good warranty packages. Everyone should have a choice when it comes to returning a less than satisfactory product.

The Purpose of Rat Beddings

  • Serves as substrate in the cage: Rat beddings act as the base for small pet cages and they are used to line the cage. This allows pet rats to have something to play and burrow in.
  • Serves as a litter: Rat beddings are vital for lining the surface of the cage, providing a warm and cozy platform for rats to sleep and play in. They equally serve as absorbers for soaking up your pet rats’ liquid and solid waste.
  • Serves as a nesting material: Rat beddings, especially the right ones help rats sleep or nest comfortably. Those soft and fluffy fibers, shavings or crumbles form a convenient base that almost mimics the textures rats would normally nest in, in the wild. Mimicking their natural habitat is one of the best ways to get them comfortable, at ease and less scared.

Types of Bedding for Pet Rats

There are many bedding types for pet rats but we have listed some we consider the best for your rats.

  • Hemp bedding

This is a natural bedding that serves as a better alternative to wood-shavings which is considered by many pet owners. This type of bedding is gradually gaining popularity because of how compatible it is with pet rats.

  • Coconut husk bedding

As the name implies, it is made from coconut husk and is a great natural substitute to wood-shavings. Rats shouldn’t get a bedding that isn’t safe to munch on, and this is one of the many reasons why a coconut husk bedding is preferable to wood-shavings.

  • Paper bedding

This is a natural and unscented bedding made from recycled papers and comes in large soft pieces that rats naturally love playing in. However, make sure you buy the right brand because there are other options of colored and scented paper beddings that are bad for your pet rats.

Rat in the cage

Best Beddings for Rats FAQ:

Q: How often should I change my pet rat’s bedding?

A: To promote good hygiene and keep the bedding clean, it’s best to change them at least every 5days, and clean the plastic surface underneath as well. The most important indicator to change the bedding, however, is the odor. Once it becomes offsetting, it’s time to change the beddings.

Q: What are the alternatives to rat bedding?

A: Instead of the usual rat beddings, rat owners could choose to make use of old clothing that won’t unravel easily; fleece and even fabric diapers. Some rat owners make use of shredded paper, newspapers or paper towels. This could equally make a comfortable base for rats, but you’ll have to get used to changing them out at most, every two days. This is because paper-based beddings pick up that nasty ammonia smell really easy. These would all form a comfortable base for rats, but would probably not be as convenient as the conventional beddings.

Q: Will rat bedding control odor?

A: Rat beddings are the best bet at reducing odors that are bound to happen. They are designed to absorb waste materials and keep the cage smelling fresher for longer.

Q: Can my rat eat its bedding?

A: Rats normally like to nibble, chew and scrape, it’s an innate hobby you most likely can’t get rid of. Normally, rats won’t eat the bedding, even though they might try to nibble on paper beddings. However, there are some who are just nibbling on the beddings because of the texture, it may not necessarily mean they are eating the beddings. To prevent such cases, it’s best to keep a safe chew-material in their cage.

Three white rats

Our Top Pick

The Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding is one of the best beddings you could get for your furry friend. It’s specifically made for small pets and does a great job at reducing odors and absorbing twice more liquids than wood shavings. The paper beddings are extremely soft and cozy, and would definitely help your rat relax and enjoy running around in its cage.


  1. Sandra C. Mitchell, DVM, How to Provide Environmental Enrichment for Your Pet Rat, PetMD
  2. Dr. Laurie Hess DVM, 5 Facts That Will Change the Way You Think About Rats, VetStreet
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