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Choosing the proper bedding for your hedgehog may seem like a simple task, but in reality, there are many things to consider to make sure that your pet is safe and comfortable. For one, you need bedding that doesn’t mold and cannot develop worms and other parasites. You also want something that is soft enough for your hedgie’s delicate feet, as well as natural and biodegradable so you can dispose of it responsibly. To simplify the process of finding the best bedding for your hedgehog, we tested and reviewed some of the most popular products on the market. Aside from our reviews, you’ll also find a detailed buying guide further down the article, in which we cover everything you need to know about hedgehog beddings, including what to look for and what to avoid during your selection process.
Made from biodegradable paper fiber, the Carefresh Small Pet Bedding has excellent liquid-absorbing and odor-controlling capabilities. In fact, this colorful bedding option absorbs two times more liquid than wood shavings, keeping your hedgie dry, warm and comfortable. To keep odors away, the Carefresh uses a proprietary odor control formula called Odor Stop, which suppresses ammonia odors for up to 10 days. The bedding is also 99% dust-free for a cleaner home (both your pet’s and yours!), which also means it’s healthier for breathing. And because it’s completely natural and biodegradable, the paper bedding is also compostable, which is always a nice plus.
Designed to absorb six times its weight in liquid, the Kaytee Clean & Cozy bedding is about 20% more absorbent than comparable brands. This soft and fluffy material is FDA-approved, so it’s not only cozy but perfectly safe and healthy for your hedgehog. As for odor control, it’s more than satisfying – it traps ammonia smells and keeps them from spreading around your pet’s and your home for good several days. The material is also 99.9% dust-free, guaranteeing a cleaner environment and easy, healthy breathing. All in all, a great fluffy bedding that besides hedgehogs can also be used for other small animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters.
Made of natural Aspen shavings, this bedding by Kaytee is a fantastic choice not only for hedgehogs of all ages, but other small pets too, including gerbils, rabbits and hamsters. The material is specially designed to eliminate excess dust and wood debris that you normally find in other bedding, making it the best option for allergy sufferers. That said, Kaytee Aspen bedding doesn’t lack in other departments either – it has great absorbing abilities, and very good odor control. Also, it’s quite soft, which your hedgie is sure to appreciate. And since this is 100% natural material, it’s also biodegradable, making disposal eco-friendly.
Have you ever thought about using hemp bedding for your hedgehog’s bed? If not, it is high time as this type of bedding comes with impressive natural advantages. Yes, it’s more expensive than straw and wood shavings, but its absorbing abilities are four times its own weight. Low dust and low palatability are also highlights, which help to limit any respiratory issues that your little animal may be suffering from. The bedding is also great at controlling odors, plus it’s 100% natural and therefore biodegradable.
Made from recycled paper, this biodegradable hedgehog bedding has a number of advantages including being hypoallergenic, safe, and sanitary. On top of all this, it is completely dust free, so it is not going to aggravate any pre-existing health issues. Since it is made with recycled paper bedding, this also means that it is entirely compostable. It comes with very good absorbing abilities and its odor-control is quite impressive as well. And unlike most wood-based bedding, the material is not at risk of sticking to your hedgie’s feet.
Now, we come to the best value option on our list of pygmy hedgehog bedding, which promises to be 60% more absorbent than shavings alone. It makes for a fantastic pet bedding because if offers a great combination of softness, dryness, and comfort. With a fresh smell and good odor control, you will need to replace it every five days to ensure that bad smells don’t become too much of an issue. Since there is a low amount of dust given off, this also makes it easy to clean. Made of soft wood shavings and paper fiber, the bedding is also biodegradable and compostable -always a plus!
We now have a bedding option that is entirely different to the ones that we have discussed so far: a fleece bedding for hedgies! While the top and bottom layers are made from quality fleece, there is a highly absorbent layer in the middle. The fleece is very soft and comfortable, yet durable and guaranteed to last a good while; not a surprise considering the high-quality material that is made right here in the U.S. You can wash it in the machine following the advice specified on the product, and you have the option of hanging it out or putting it in the tumble dryer.
Convenient alternative to traditional bedding
Three layers: absorbent denim sandwiched between soft fleece
Last but certainly not least, comes this simple bedding from Aspen by Small Pet Select. All-natural, this additive-free bedding is perfect for all small animals as it’s relatively soft, with solid dampness- and odor-controlling abilities. The bedding expands to 8 cu ft. total, making it quite economical. And since it’s 100% natural and biodegradable, it’s good both for your hedgie and the planet!
Still not sure which bedding to choose for your hedgie? Not to worry; in this part of our buying guide, we cover absolutely everything you need to know about small pet beddings, including the things you should look for in quality products, and things you may wish to avoid too. We also talk about different types of bedding materials, including each type’s benefits and drawbacks, so read on!
What to Look for in Bedding for Hedgehogs
Choosing bedding for hedgehogs comes down to making sure the product has a combination of the right features. Here are some of the main ones to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you want the bedding that your hedgehog is sleeping in to be safe. Part of this comes down to buying from a reputable seller with clear positive reviews in the past. But you should also inspect the bedding to ensure that there are no issues with it ,such as lice, fungus, mold etc. Another safety issue is the size of the bedding particles, which shouldn’t be too small because you don’t want your hedgie to ingest them.
While this can be a safety issue as well, it is also important that the bedding is as dust-free as possible. Small animals like hedgehogs have sensitive respiratory systems, which means that if there is too much dust, they can develop breathing difficulties. Another issue that too much dust can cause is problems with their eyes. Also, if you have any sensitivities of your own, such as breathing problems, asthma, or allergies, the dust could end up aggravating them as well.
Since this is where your little pet will be living, getting it dirty, and going to the bathroom, it needs to be able to absorb any liquids with ease. Check how much the material you like is able to absorb, as this should give you a rough idea of how often it needs to be changed as well.
On a similar point to the one above, you want the bedding to be able to control odors as best as possible. This way, both your pet’s home and your own will smell fresh and clean for days. While odor control should be a central point, keep in mind that most bedding materials are not scented as hedgehogs have sensitive respiratory systems.
Since this is where your hedgehog will be relaxing and sleeping as well as living, proper bedding needs to provide a comfortable environment where they can rest and play. Look for products that are on the softer side.
There are several different types of beddings out there, whether this is pine bedding for hedgehogs or aspen bedding for hedgehogs, doesn’t matter that much as they all come with their own set of pros and cons. What’s important is to choose a material that agrees with your pet the most. We will go into more detail about these a little bit further down the guide.
Easy to dispose
While there are obviously more permanent bedding options like fabric, others need to be disposed of on a regular basis. It’s important that the bedding you choose is biodegradable, as this means you can continually get rid of it without it causing harm to the environment.
You need to keep your pet in a clean and hygienic state, so look at the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer. Obviously, if you have disposable bedding, you are going to need to clean the enclosure by hand and replace the bedding. However, if you have a fabric bed, it may be suitable for hand washing or even machine washing, depending on the material.
While you may think that hedgehog bedding only has a practical function, there are actually some different style choices that you can make regarding colors too. However, while you want your hedgehog enclosure to look great, you should make sure that any dyes used are safe for your pet’s health.
Always buy from reputable brands and companies. Well-known brands had to build up their positive reputation, so it’s much more likely they have undergone certain safety checks than lesser-known brands. They also often have higher manufacturing standards and are made in trusted facilities around the world. After all, you don’t want to get anything that could put your hedgehog’s health in danger.
Hedgehog Bedding to Avoid
When you are choosing the best hedgehog bedding, it needs to be soft enough for your little pet to walk on without damaging their feet. Therefore, you need to avoid anything where the edges are too hard or sharp. You also need to be wary of a cold hard wire mesh as this can create stress on your pet’s underfoot condition. As a test, you should be able to pass your hand over the bedding comfortably. If you find it rough, it is unlikely to be good for your pet’s feet. You also need to be aware that some hedgehogs are allergic to various types of bedding, meaning that you should watch out for any skin irritation or rash. Don’t forget that you may have an allergic reaction too.
Different Types of Hedgehog Beddings
There are several different types of hedgehog bedding materials to choose between. Let’s look at a few of the main options here.
This is a very common choice of hedgehog bedding, which is good in providing a comfortable space for your pet to relax. They also have other advantages including being biodegradable and easy to dispose of. They are also known for controlling odors. However, you need to bear in mind that these soft shaving needs regular replacing to ensure cleanliness and freshness. Also, mites can sometimes get into the bedding, so you need to keep your eye on this situation and make changes if needed.
Pellets are another popular choice. These do a good job of absorbing liquids and odors, so they are particularly good for pets who are especially messy. However, one of the central issues is that they can stick between the quills of your pet, so you should be careful and check your hedgie’s feet often as this can be quite painful if left untreated.
A more unusual choice is hemp bedding for your pet, which has the advantage of staying dry longer than straw or wood. Also, it is an all-natural product that is known for its high level of absorbency and biodegradable and compostable nature. It is also pathogen-free and known for its odor-resisting properties. On the downside, it can be quite an expensive option, which means that costs are going to add up if you have to keep replacing it.
Some pet owners prefer to go in a different direction by using fabric bedding or fleece, which is a good option if you don’t want to have to go through the continual recycling/disposal of other options. The fabric has the advantage of being a comfortable place for your pet to rest its head at night. Of course, it makes your life easier if the fabric is machine washable to keep it in a clean and hygienic condition. Also, check whether you need to hang dry the fleeced bedding for hedgehogs or if it is suitable for putting in the tumble dryer.
Paper or wood shredding
The most affordable option tends to be shredded paper or wood shavings, which can be colored and styled for your pet’s enclosure. Some owners choose to combine different bedding options to ensure a high level of absorbency and smell control.
Note: we don’t recommend cedar shavings as they can be irritating and even cause respiratory problems.
Our Top Pick
While all products featured in our Top List are excellent options, our top pick has to be the Carefresh Bedding Confetti. Known for its comfort and softness, this natural, colorful bedding provides a comfortable place for your hedgie to sleep and live. Importantly, it has a high level of absorbency and excellent odor control too, which can last for as long as 10 days. On top of all this, this is a 99% dust-free material, which helps to prevent any breathing problems for your hedgie and allergic reactions for you, making it one of the best, most comfortable beddings for small pets.