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Last updated: 13 Jun 2019

The Best Hamster Bedding (Review) in 2019

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding

Small Pet Select Premium Soft Paper Bedding

Small Pet Select Premium Soft Paper Bedding

Living World Wood Aspen Shavings

Living World Wood Aspen Bedding

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Published 12:20 pm

Hamsters are fun loving animals to keep as pets – and are quite the motivation too. It is only normal as a pet parent to want the best habitat for your furry little friend. With the best hamster bedding, comfort is certainly guaranteed. However, keep in mind that such products are more specific than what you’d find for other pets as hamsters prefer a habitat much closer to their natural habitat. Depending on the type of hamster, it is important to replicate what they are naturally accustomed to; however, when all these features are considered, choosing the right bedding may seem tricky and complicated. Don’t worry, as this article has outlined some of the safest and most comfortable bedding out there.

The Best Hamster Bedding

1

Any pet parent would want to provide a comfortable and convenient environment for their little one, this is totally normal. However, it should depend on their country of origin and respective natural habitats. For example, Syrian hamsters live in dry, hot temperatures while Campbell Russian hamsters come from dry grassy areas and use sheep’s wool and grass to nest. Thus, mimicking a hamster’s natural habitat is key when choosing out their bedding.

The Kaytee Clean and Cozy White Small Bedding does just that with its extra comfy paper based materials. Ensuring that it’s extra gentle on their tiny sensitive noses, the soft material is fresh and practically dust free. Despite their tiny adorable noses, Hamsters also have a really good sense of smell. So, they may also be quite turned off or worse yet, react to an unclean environment. And no matter how civilised pet owners would want their hamsters to be, they are most likely to take a leak in corners of their bed. With different light scents to choose from such as lavender and summer storm, their home stays smelling fresh and clean.

To reduce the hassle of changing the bedding every day, this premium product comes extra absorbent. It actually takes on 2x more liquid than wood shavings and the long recycled fibre strands were made to take on more moisture and are generally a better quality for your hamster. Hamsters love to build nests and burrow, they need soft and clean material to scuttle around in and these fibres have been made extra comfortable and fluffy to suit all skin types and lifestyles. So if you’re up for giving your hamster some well-deserved luxury, the Kaytee Clean is the way to go.

Soft and fluffy texture

2x more absorbency than wood shavings

99.95 dust free

Odour control

Specification:
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Model: 100037607
  • Weight: 4 pounds
Pros

Comes in different fragrances that eliminate foul odours

No dyes or bleaches used

Fluffs up to at least 4 times its original size

Cons

Reported inconsistencies in quality and texture

2

If you are extra concerned about a tidier and cleaner environment then the Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding is one to try. This bedding is made from 100% natural fibres obtained directly from the source. This provides a soft and most importantly, a safe habitat overtime. There are no inks, dyes or harmful chemicals, just extra soft and pillow-y fibres convenient for small animals alike. Hamsters easily encounter respiratory issues when placed in stuffy and unclean environments, this can be a serious health issue for them.

With Carefresh you don’t have to worry about those unsettling respiratory issues, the materials come natural and are 99.9% dust free. This eliminates the occurrence of allergies and provides a cleaner home for your hamster friend. It’s also a fact that hamsters are nocturnal; they sleep all day and party all night. Therefore, the granules need to be safe and fluffy enough to ensure they have a well-rested and uncongested rest. And when they wake up at night, there’s furry goodness for them to play around with.

The highlight of the Carefresh has to be the fresh odour control feature. Whenever they take a leak on regular bedding, it’s bound to start smelling like ammonia after a while. The fresh materials will also keep the bedding smelling fresh up to 6 days without releasing any foul smells. These fibres are extra absorbent keeping the home dry and generally more clean. What’s more, as this product expands to twice its size, no matter how many times you change the bedding, it’s sure to last a considerable amount of time. With the capacity to take on liquid two times more than other shavings, it definitely stands out among other beddings.

100% natural fibres

Product made from scratch

Dry, soft material

Low dust and easy to clean

Specification:
  • Brand: Carefresh
  • Model: L0400
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
Pros

10-day odour control

2x more absorbent than regular shavings

Safe for respiratory health

Cons

Reported inconsistencies with the texture

New packaging reportedly has bedding with an ‘off’ smell

3

Hamsters love to burrow in their habitat; this means they need a soft and comfortable bedding material that isn’t harsh on the skin. The best hamster bedding material are probably paper fibres; they are soft and fluffy enough for pets delicate skin. They are also dust free to ensure small pets with respiratory issues don’t have a hard time sleeping on them.

The Small Pet Select natural Paper Bedding as the name entails is made from natural paper. Save on refills as this product expands 3x larger than its actual size. This paper is not chemically processed and has never been printed or typed on. To ensure it is safe enough for small pets, all risk of toxic chemicals or bleaches have been carefully avoided. The soft paper pieces will definitely have your hamster up and running again, with no risk of paper cuts. Let them explore a world that is undeniably a replica of the life they enjoyed in the wild. Soft, comfortable but still very absorbent to ensure their home remains clean.

Additionally, hamsters are naturally clean animals, and they love their space clean too. And if they could, they would probably stroll to the toilet to make their deposits. As they can’t, when nature calls, any smelly urine and poop naturally seeps into the bedding. Luckily, this product stays dry enough to hide the smells until it’s time to change it. With comfortable and clean bedding to prance about in, their tiny hands and feet will definitely be pampered. At the end of the day, you want a happy, healthy hamster, this product will definitely ensure that.

Soft and comfortable for paws and skin

No bleaches or ink

100% safe

Dust free

Specification:
  • Brand: Small Pet Select
  • Model: BDING-178L
  • Weight: 15.6 pounds
Pros

Expands 3x its original size

Made from pure unprinted paper

More affordable

Cons

Inconsistency with  production

Reported drop in quality of bedding

Users reported lack of odour control

4

Hamsters don’t have the longest lifespans, it would be awesome if they graced our homes for at least a decade but that’s not naturally possible. With a maximum of 3 fun years to live and spin, it takes extra care and comfort to ensure they live out a fulfilled term. One of the major factors contributing to a healthy, happy pet is definitely their habitat. The bedding you choose is extremely important to ensure the pets’ health and prime. That’s why the Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding for Small Animals is ideal for their home. It’s made with 100% recycled paper that’s not only great for your pet, but the environment too. Every bag purchased reduces environmental pollution and conserves more trees in the forest. (Yes, that made us smile too as saving the environment is a cause to be celebrated).

Cleaning out hamster bedding every day can get quite exhausting and the Vitakraft Bedding saves pet parents the extra hassle. With a whopping 14 days of fresh bedding, there will be more time to bond and play. The fresh formula is totally free of baking powder, but dry enough to lock in moisture. This keeps their habitat odour-less for 2 weeks giving pet parents enough time to change the bedding.

This paper bedding may be dry and absorbent but that doesn’t take away from the soft and comfortable feel it provides. The texture will have your hamster relaxed at bed time and exploring happily when they are awake. To crown the amazing features of the Vitakraft, the dust-free formula ensures this bedding is a 100% safe for all hamsters with or without respiratory issues.

Made from 100% non-toxic recycled paper

Extremely soft paper crumbles

Dust free

Fragrance free formula

Specification:
  • Brand: Vitakraft
  • Model: 34754
  • Weight: 14.3 pounds
Pros

Enlarges up to 3x larger

Easy to clean up

Controls odours up to 14 days

Cons

The bedding is reportedly packaged loosely, which makes the filling look more than it actually is.

5

Have you ever woken up to find that the hamster must have found a trap door out of his home? And later realised of course that he just burrowed deep into the bed for a little game of hide and seek. Most hamster parents can probably relate to this. Hamsters love to burrow deep into their bedding when they sleep. It actually means they are happy and feel comfortable in their home.

The Kaytee Extreme Odour Control Pet Bedding provides improved absorbance without compromising on comfort. The beddings come extra soft and cosy to encourage small pets to burrow and nest like they would usually do in their natural habitat. The fibres improved absorbent features keep hamsters clean and dry all day long. With a guaranteed 14-day fresh bedding assurance, pet parents can enjoy the extra days off before replacing beddings. This is because the phenomenal Kaytee Extreme now absorbs more liquid leaving the litter clean for a longer time period. 

Their stance on a healthy habitat hasn’t changed either; hamsters enjoy a breathable environment with the 99.9% dust free assurance. It’s very easy to upset a hamsters respiratory system; dust, heavy smells and the rest can contribute to this. However, that is what this product is for; it neutralises heavy ammonia smells overtime while being safely dust free. This advanced formula is a step up from the previous edition. You know a great brand when they tirelessly keep seeking improved ways to evidently be better.

14 Day odour control

99.9% dust free

Comfortable and cosy fibres convenient for a small pet

2x more absorbent than wood shavings

Specification:
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Model: 100533084
  • Weight: 4.4 pounds
Pros

Safe for small pets

Dry and more absorbent

Encourages nesting and burrowing

Cons

Reportedly comes with strong offsetting scent

Reportedly doesn’t absorb as much liquid as indicated

Inconsistency in product quality

6

Hamsters love to explore, it’s one of their best hobbies, apart from sleeping of course. It is actually advisable to take them out of their cages once in a while. This allows them to run free a little and visit new places under strict supervision of course. Even if they are taken out of their habitat sometimes, they spend more time in their cages. The Healthy Pet Critter Care HPCC Natural 30-Litre Bedding provides the ultimate soft and comfy bedding for pet hamsters. Seeing that they are in their homes more often than not, this natural formula is set to keep pets dry and clean for longer periods of time.

The soft and comfy pieces work together to absorb liquid from pet urine and drinking water ensuring the bedding stays dry and comfortable. This bedding readily absorbs up to 3x its weight in liquids, leaving the habitat clean and fresh for healthy living. It also ticks off the 99.9% dust-free requirement ensuring respiratory issues don’t develop or worsen. Delivering to users’ value for money, the bedding are stuffed into a 12.5 litre capacity bag and is expected to expand to 30 litres when used.

Save up on re-stocking frequently with this budget friendly, economical deal. The bedding itself is made from natural wood pulp which makes it quite a safe and non-toxic material. Pet parents who love the environment will be happy about the biodegradable features; it remains un-harmful when disposed. It also suppresses the odour that comes from dried up urine without any chemical or baking soda additives. No fragrances have been added since that may actually upset pets. Hamsters have one life to live, let them play and relax in the comfort that Critter Care provides.

Soft and comfortable pieces

Made from biodegradable reclaimed wood pulp

Dust free

Extra absorbent

Specification:
  • Brand: Healthy Pet
  • Model: L0178
  • Weight: 3.95 pounds
Pros

Suppresses ammonia smells

Keeps habitat clean, dry and cosy

Expands up to 30litres

Cons

Beddings are used up a bit fast

7

The Carefresh Confetti Small 50L Pet Bedding is a maestro at absorbing unwanted materials. If you’re looking for more fluff and less liquid, it is definitely a great choice. Putting pet parents in mind, it provides more absorbance and reduces foul smells. Its fun and colourful look will definitely keep your hamsters mind and body activated. Don’t worry, these colours won’t stain their habitat, they just add to the happy mood your hamster displays when he is awake.

For pet parents who love colourful and vibrant décor, this confetti bedding is perfect. The fibres are soft and comfortable enough to encourage nesting and burrowing. The texture is soft and pillow-y made from cellulose fibres to ensure ultra-comfort and absorbance. Their delicate hands and feet will thank you for the tender comfort this bedding provides without getting their legs tangled in too much fluff.

The dry yet soft nature ensures their habitat stays fresh, moisture free and odourless. It can get exhausting constantly changing out the bedding; regular beddings are swapped out practically every day. The Carefresh Confetti gives users extra 9 days to relax and play before having to change the beddings.  With choice materials gotten from biodegradable fibres, be sure that this bedding will pose no harm to the hamster. The fibres are dust free providing a breathable and serene environment where hamsters can sleep, play and wheel.

Colourful and vibrant colours

Made with comfy fluff

10-day odour control

Low dust

Specification:
  • Brand: Carefresh
  • Model: L0410
  • Weight: 7 pounds
Pros

Easy to clean

Extra absorbent

Expands a lot when removed from the bag

Cons

Reportedly doesn’t double to 50L

8

The Kaytee Aspen Natural Bedding is a premium quality product made from hardwood shavings. For pet parents who love a good bargain, this is it on a platter. Not taking away from the fact that it is relatively affordable, these shavings will definitely last a good time. There are doubtless some concerns about wood shavings not being appropriate material for pet beddings. This stems from the fact that they tend to be more coarse, brittle and harsh on pets. Hamsters love to burrow and dig, they need materials that are both soft and skin. Making it as one of the best hamster beddings is definitely surprising.

The Aspen bedding has been able to stand out as an extra-soft and comfortable bedding regardless of its make. The truth is, wood shavings offer a decent amount of absorbance but not all of them are healthy enough for your pet. This product is made from hamster friendly materials that don’t pose any harmful risks to your pet. It’s carefully and thoroughly processed to get rid of dust and wood particles.

Without causing any harm, it is quite decent for burrowing and nesting since the shaving are made quite soft. Made with hamsters best interests at heart, be assured their tiny, delicate hands and feet won’t be blistered or hurt. If you still have doubts about the comfort, it can be paired with a paper based Kaytee bedding. The Alpen bedding could be placed at the base while the paper fibres are placed on top for extra comfort. It works great for eliminating odours while keeping the habitat clean and fresh.

Kiln dried

All natural hardwood shavings

Free of fragrances, oils or inks

Good odour control

Specification:
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Model: 100032000
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds
Pros

Biodegradable

Processed to remove dust and wood chunks

Gentle on the feet and skin

Cons

May have woody scent for sometime

May have bugs from factory production

Bag is more heavy

9

What is better than all-natural wood shavings that are scent-free and absorbent without all the adverse side effects? There aren’t a whole lot of things better than this, especially when it comes to hamster bedding so, it’s a good thing that the Living World Wood Aspen Shavings offer this up and more. These wood shavings are not only completely suitable for your pet and the environment, but they are also highly absorbent. Also, thanks to the fact that they are scent-free and void of any aromatic oils, these shavings do not overwhelm the senses of your furry little critter. For pets that have already developed breathing problems over the years, these shavings will take it easy on their lungs. This is mostly because they are completely hypoallergenic and also a lot less dusty.

On the topic of their effectiveness when it comes to the overall sanitary conditions of the hamster cage, Aspen shavings are super absorbent and as such, they effectively capture as much of the mess as possible. It can effectively capture up to four times its weight in moisture, so, based on this alone, clean-up is a breeze. Whether you own a hamster, rabbit, mouse or a guinea pig, this brand of wood shavings is suitable for them.

The shavings are highly absorbent

It is made from 100 percent natural aspen wood

Has an expanded volume of a 1200-cubic inch

Can be used as bedding for small pets

Specification:
  • Brand: Living World
  • Model: 61276
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds
Pros

Safe to chew on

It holds odor and waste well

It is affordable

Cons

It is grimy

Incredibly dusty

It gets messy

10

In a world where almost everything has a disposable counterpart, why not try some disposable bedding that will make cleaning time a whole lot easier? For all pet owners who are tired of taking hours to painstakingly clean out hamster cages, the Kaytee CritterTrail Small Animal Habitat Bedding Trays reduces that time by eons.

This bedding comes in a 3-pack which is already filled up with Kaytee Clean and Cozy bedding and it simply allows pet owners to take out the bedding trays, dispose of them and stick a new one in. There is no need to be skeptical, it really is that easy and it’s not just great for pet owners, it’s great for the pets too. The overall texture is extremely soft, yet it is highly absorbent. The reason why it is so soft and fluffy is so that it can encourage burrowing and nesting, it does this while absorbing two times more liquid than traditional wood shavings. Of course, the fact that it is highly absorbent means that it carries less odour and to crown it all up, it is 99% dust free. Make life a lot easier for yourself and a lot more convenient for your pet all in one with this effective bedding tray.

Makes it easier and faster to clean the cage

It is disposable and recyclable

Fits into most standard rectangular CritterTrail Habitats

Comes with Kaytee Clean and Cozy bedding

Specification:
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Model: 100516386
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
Pros

Eliminates the need to constantly clean

It is reusable

It is easy to swap out

Cons

Debris sometimes pools beneath it

The quality is lacking

Intensifies the odour

Best Hamster Bedding Buying Guide

Like we discussed before, it is important to provide hamsters with bedding that mimics their natural habitat. And with 10 great choices to pick from, there is also some background information pet parents should know before purchasing hamster bedding.

Things to Consider When Buying Hamster Bedding

  • Absorbance

Ensure the bedding picked out is highly absorbent to avoid smell and soggy areas. Hamsters obviously urinate in their homes coupled with regular water spills from drinking water. The Bedding should be able to soak in the moisture while keeping both surrounding and the hamster dry and comfortable.

  • Gentile on the skin and feet

Paper fibres are generally more gentle on the skin than wood shavings. Look out for natural paper fibre bedding that don’t contain chemicals or fragrances that could upset your hamster. Soft materials ensure the hamster can nest and burrow conveniently without getting hurt. Hamsters love to burrow and shift bedding material around to form a nest where they can lay and relax. This generally shows that they are happy with their habitat.

  • Dust free

Hamsters have very sensitive respiratory systems. Some pet owners have lost their cute hamster friends because they were placed in the wrong habitat. Their homes have to be breathable, non-toxic and dust free. They spend most of their time ¬there anyway inhaling and rolling in whatever their surrounding offers. Look out for products that are practically dust free to eliminate respiratory issues and allergies. This will ensure your furry friend lives a fun, healthy and comfortable life and give you more happy times and memories with her.

hamster in cage

Why You Need Hamster Bedding

Reduce Bad odours: hamster bedding are quite necessary, not only do they provide a comfortable place for pets to play and sleep, but help eliminate foul odours. When your pet takes a leak or does the number two, bedding makes it easier to clean. They also absorb the liquid left from urine and spilt water.

Soak up urine: when your hamster urinates, the bedding serves as a barrier between them and the cage floor. Once the urine hits the floor, the foul ammonia smell would probably irritate both the pet parents and the hamsters. The Beddings soak in urine and keep it from wetting up the hamster or its home.

Mimic Natural Habitat: hamster bedding are the closest thing your hamster would have to remind them of home. The fluffy and soft fibres, the freedom to burrow themselves in their home. This is one thing that makes them thrive, hamsters sleep a lot, and when awake they nest, eat and burrow. Beddings made from natural fibres replace the natural habitat hamsters are used to by replicating the feel and comfort.

What Materials to Avoid for Hamster Bedding?

We have already covered what types of material you can choose for your pet’s home, but it is equally important to know what materials you should avoid. These are usually found in cheap hamster bedding and include:

  • Cat litter – your pet might eat the bedspread and it will have trouble digesting it, which may lead to digestive issues
  • Newspaper – they were printed with ink on it, and ink is a hazardous material if ingested
  • Sawdust – as the name suggest, the dust level in this type of hamster bedding is high, which may cause breathing issues for your pet
  • Most wood shavings – although you will find people that claim hamster wood shavings are the best choice for your pet, that couldn’t be further from the truth. These shavings may contain sharp pieces that can cut your hamster or cause serious issues if ingested. It is worth noting that aspen is the wood type that passes as safe for hamster bedding because they do not have sharp pieces
  • Artificial materials and chemicals – all may be potentially toxic for your pet
  • Corn cob – mold might become a serious problem
  • Cotton – pieces that your pet ingests may lead to suffocation

two hamsters

Best Hamster Bedding FAQ:

Q: What is a hamster bedding?

A: A hamster bedding is the materials placed on the floor of your hamster’s cage. They should be extra soft, absorbent and prevent foul odors.

Q: How often do I have to change the bedding?

A: this largely depends on the brand of bedding you buy. Regular bedding material will have you changing them at least every day because of the foul odors and damp surroundings. However superior quality bedding will reduce changing regularities to twice a week, while some could last 2 weeks before they need to be changed.

Q: Will hamster bedding help control the odor?

A: Yes of course, good quality bedding should be able to absorb liquid for some time without letting out foul odors. Some bedding contain fragrances that subdue the foul smells while replacing the habitat with a fresh, scented smell. This however may not be so advisable because hamsters have sensitive noses.

Q: What happens if my hamster eats the pet bedding?

A: This is why hamsters need all natural bedding. Bedding made with artificial materials could be toxic or hard to digest. However, hamsters are likely to eat from their bedding. Natural fibres like paper or shavings from wood.

Our Top Pick

The Kaytee Clean and Cosy Small Animal Bedding is definitely a great choice for hamsters. It is 99.9% dust free and does a wonderful job at controlling foul odors. There are no chemicals or dyes used, making it a safe option for your hamster. Say goodbye to untidy cages and frequent bedding changes. This product absorbs more liquid than regular bedding leaving their habitat, clean, dry and extremely comfortable.

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Dr Tracy Douglas
Dr Tracy Douglas
General Practice Veterinarian, currently working at the Glenwood Veterinary Clinic, Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Dr. Douglas began her veterinary career as a Veterinary Nurse in Highton Veterinary Clinic, Highton Victoria, and then as an Emergency Veterinarian in Uintah Pet Emergency, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tracy is particularly interested in surgery, neurology and internal medicine, which gives her a well-rounded knowledge on animal health and well-being. She received her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Melbourne, while her undergraduate bachelor of science is from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.
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