There’s a lot to love about having your own hamster. They’re cute, active, and fun to watch play. On top of all of that, they are relatively easy to care for!
Even if they’re a simple pet that is very kid-friendly, that doesn’t mean that no special precautions need to be taken when caring for them. One important thing that many people do not pay enough attention to is what type of bedding they use in their hamster’s cage.
The best bedding for hamsters will be non-toxic, affordable, and easy to replace. But which of these great options will that be? Learn more about how to choose bedding for your hamster and which ones we think are the best of the best.
Best Bedding for Hamsters Reviews
1. Healthy Pet HPCC Natural Bedding
The first hamster bedding that we should talk about today is the Natural Bedding from Healthy Pet HPCC, which is a great option for all hamster owners.
Like most hamster beddings, this product is compressed, so you are getting two times the volume that you order when you get this product. For example, the 12.5L bag actually expands to about 30L of product, so you can store it easily without having lots of extra space to keep it in.
This product is made from reclaimed wood pulp, making it biodegradable as well as compostable, which is great for those who don’t like the idea of wasting a lot of product when they are done with it.
- Absorbs 3X its weight
- Long lasting odor control
- Expands to 2X its volume
- The product is compressed to 12.5L and it expands to 30L
The best thing about this particular bedding is how absorbent it is. The natural bedding can absorb up to three times its weight, which means that you can change the bedding less frequently, and that wet spots won’t develop easily.
Another great thing about this bedding is the long-lasting odor control that it has. It is specifically formulated to cut the smell of ammonia that is common in pet urine, and this is usually the primary source of stinky cages. With this bedding, you can have a great-smelling cage without any extra effort.
One problem with this bedding is that it was not fully disclosed what type of wood pulp the product was made of. This means that it could have some paper parts in it, but it seems that this product is made from more of a paper pulp than wood pulp, so it is still a good option.
This bedding can get very clumpy when you take it out of the packaging, so you may need to break it up before you can put it in their cage, which can be very annoying.
2. Kaytee Clean & Cozy Scented Small Animal Bedding
Next up, we have a super scented option which not only fights odors but brings a nice, sweet set of scents to your home as well.
This product made by the popular brand Kaytee is a paper-based bedding that is made out of long, recycled strings of paper pulp. These strands make the bedding up to six times more absorbent than its weight, and that’s pretty amazing.
The packaging compresses up to three times, so you are getting a lot of value depending on the volume that you buy. When compared to classic wood shavings, this bedding option is actually two times more absorbent, and it is healthier for your pet since it is virtually dust-free.
- Odor Control Guaranteed
- 99.9% Dust Free for a Cleaner Cage
- Absorbs 6x its Weight in Liquid
- Safe for your Pet
- Natural Scented with Real Lavender
One of the best things about this bedding is that it comes in four different scents! You can decide which of these scents you like best, or you can change between them to keep things from becoming too overwhelmingly scented with just one smell.
Another nice thing is that this product is guaranteed to control odors. If you do not believe that it neutralizes odors as it should, you can contact Kaytee, and they will give you a replacement product from their line or a refund.
While the strong smell is one of the selling points of this product, it’s also a bit of a downfall. Some people with sensitive noses might find the strength of the scent of this bedding to be overwhelming.
3. Absorption Corp Carefresh Ultra Pet Bedding
Next up is another product from Carefresh, one of the best small pet companies around. While they have a variety of different products, this is one of the best options for hamsters.
This Carefresh bedding was made with two goals in mind: absorbing liquid and fighting odors, and it does both of those things phenomenally well!
This paper bedding is biodegradable. If you have the right plumping system, this bedding can also be flushed in small batches without causing any problems. Basically, this means that you won’t have to throw away large quantities of this bedding which can save you both time and energy.
Additionally, this bedding is free from chemicals, dyes, inks, and clays. These inclusions can be very dangerous for hamsters, so CareFresh has attempted to ensure that your pet’s health is the number one thing that they care about.
- Cleaner, more cozy, more comfortable environment
- Biodegradable, flushable (in small quantities)
- Contains no pine or cedar oils
One of the best things about this type of bedding is that it contains no pine or cedar oils. It’s been shown that both of these chemicals can cause harm to your hamster, so it’s best to find products that don’t contain them to be sure that your hamster will be as healthy as possible.
Another great thing about this bedding is that it is ultra-absorbent and can contain up to three times its weight. This means that urine, leaky water bottles, and anything else that might make the bedding damp will be sopped up in no time at all.
One drawback of this bedding is that the compression process when it is put in its bag can cause it to clump together quite severely. This clumping makes it challenging to change your bedding quickly without first having to break up the bedding.
Another issue is that this bedding is not as fluffy as some other paper products, so you might worry about how comfortable your hamster will find it. Many owners find this to not be an issue, but some mix this bedding with another one to make it seem comfortable.
4. Arm & Hammer Natural Paper Bedding
Arm & Hammer are expert makers of baking soda, but can including that same baking soda in hamster bedding help cut back on smells? Let’s find out.
This bedding is made of a mixture of paper bedding that is treated with baking soda. Despite this treatment, it is still natural and not dangerous for your hamster to live in. Additionally, the bedding remains lightweight.
This bedding comes in large, compressed packages. When you take it out of the package, it will decompress and become very fluffy. This fluffiness is great for your hamster to cuddle up in, and you will only need to put down a layer of about two to four inches for your pet to have enough depth to live in.
- KEEP YOUR HOME SMELLING FRESH - Guinea pig bedding by Arm & Hammer is crucial for an odor-free home
- HEAVY DUTY - Perfect for heavy-duty use, it absorbs 6 to 8 times its weight
- GENTLE ON PAWS - Super-light, soft texture is gentle on paws and fun for playing, nesting, and burrowing
- 100% SAFE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE - Infused with baking soda, natural zeolite crystals, and activated carbon, natural bedding is free of toxins, sludge, or reclaimed pulp and is 99.9% dust-free
- SATISFACTION GUARANTEED* - If you have any questions or feedback, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper bedding is known for being incredibly lightweight and fluffy while still retaining a high level of absorbency. In fact, this is one of the most absorbent hamster beddings around. It can absorb six to eight times the weight of the bedding itself, which is nearly double of the other high-quality bedding options included on the list.
The main goal of this product from Arm & Hammer is to fight odors, and this bedding does a fantastic job of doing just that! The baking soda in this bedding ensures that the smell of your pet’s urine won’t accumulate. Instead, it will be neutralized on contact.
One thing that some people might not like about this bedding is that it’s not always easy to find in stores, so you may have to buy it online. Still, that’s not a huge drawback if you’re willing to do some online shopping.
Additionally, some people do not like products that have baking soda. There are not any clear studies that show that baking soda is bad for hamsters, so we believe that at the time of writing this article, this product is safe for your pet.
5. FiberCore Eco-Bedding Natural
Finally, the last product we will talk about today is the Natural Eco-Bedding from Fiber Core. This bedding is unique in its goals and how it works for the environment.
This bedding is an all-natural, environmentally friendly option. It is made by the brand Fiber Core, which is becoming better well known for their eco-friendly pet products, and this is one of their most popular choices.
This product is also more compressed than other products when put into its packaging which means that you will get even more product whenever you take it out. For the 36L bag, it will decompress to make more than 125L of bedding. You can save a lot of money by using something that has this much value.
- Hypoallergenic, sanitary, non-toxic and completely dust free
- Perfect for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, birds, ferrets, rats and much more
- 36 liters expands to over 125 liters
- Made with recycled paper and is completely biodegradable
One of the most appealing things about this bedding is that it is an eco-friendly choice. Not only is this product made of 100% recycled paper, but it is also free from dust and completely compostable. All of these things make it a smart choice for anyone who wants to protect the environment or simply choose a cleaner option.
As a controlled manufacturing product, this bedding can be considered to be hypoallergenic. The lower amount of dust, particles, and irritants means that any allergy sufferers in your home won’t be as bothered by this bedding as by less eco-friendly options.
One issue with this bedding is that the pieces are a bit larger and stronger than other types of hamster bedding. This means that you will be more likely to find them stuck to clothing or carpeting if they get out of the cage.
Spot cleaning can be hard with this bedding because of how the strips get stuck together. You have to pull them apart, and this can make spot cleaning time-consuming.
Taking care of a hamster certainly isn’t the most complicated pet care list that you'll have to deal with in your lifetime, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some complicated bits that you should probably learn more about. One of the things that can be confusing for new hamster owners is bedding. What are all the different types and why do they even matter?
Hamster bedding can be made out of a huge range of materials, and the type of material you choose really does matter. Whatever you select for your pet will become an integral part of their home, so you want to make sure that it is a safe and comfortable choice.
- Most hamster owners use one of the following options:
- Store-made paper beddings (various types)
- Hamster wood shavings (aspen variety, non-splintering)
While the following materials are sometimes recommended for hamster bedding, you should try to avoid these options unless they are made explicitly for a hamster:
- Cat litter
- Wood and pine shavings
- Corn cob
- Anything with chemicals
2. Absorbing Properties
You want to make sure that whichever bedding that you choose has great absorbing properties. The better the absorbing properties of the bedding, the less frequently you will need to change the bedding. Additionally, the bedding types that absorb things more readily tend to smell less, so that’s a win-win.
Many wood shavings are not as absorbent as they could be, and various store-made paper shavings are a better option when it comes to absorption rate.
3. Odor Control
Various types of bedding will have different success rates in eliminating that “hamster” odor that so many pet parents come to grow tired of over time. Even if you love having a pet hamster, nobody likes their house smelling bad every time they walk in.
There are a lot of types of hamster bedding that are specifically made to help prevent odors, but many of these formulas have chemical coatings which might not be great for your hamster in the long run. If you do decide that you want to buy an odor-control product, try to find one that uses natural inclusions to fight the smell of the urine.
Since you need to change out the bedding in your hamster's cage relatively frequently, it is essential that you consider how much money you have available to spend on bedding. It’s not fair to your pet to buy the cheapest bedding that might be dangerous for their health, so if that is all you can afford, you may want to talk to a local pet shelter about getting some supplies to help you out.
To make the most of your money, try to buy in bulk and look for applicable coupons when possible to save you the most money.
Hamsters love to dig around and build themselves a nest in their bedding, so it is essential that you choose something that will be comfortable for them and not cause them any pain. Avoiding sharp wood shavings and other potentially scratching materials is a must.
6. Material Used
Remember that when you choose bedding, you always want to make sure that the bedding was not treated with any dangerous chemicals that could harm your hamster's health. Most bedding options that are explicitly made for hamsters will be free from these hazardous products, but it is your responsibility as a pet owner to do a final check.
Bedding for Hamsters FAQs
1. How Often to Change Hamster Bedding?
There is no set rule about how often you need to change hamster bedding, but there are some helpful tips that you can follow to ensure that you are always providing a clean and healthy environment for your pet.
- Change if you notice the bedding is dirty or wet.
- Change if you notice a smell coming from the cage.
- Usually, this means changing it out every two weeks.
- Try not to remove any stashes of food that your hamster has made when you change the bedding.
If you follow these simple tips, you’ll be sure to have a happy hamster (in a clean, dry cage).
2. How to Make Hamster Bedding?
If you aren’t ready to invest in store-bought hamster bedding or need something in a pinch, you can actually make your own hamster bedding at home. It’s a long process because you will need to let some things dry, but it isn’t difficult.
Here’s what you will need:
- Paper bags
- Printer paper
- Old t-shirt
- Baking soda
- Take one or two paper bags and a few sheets of printer paper. Rip them up in small pieces, and then, put them in the bowl.
- Add warm-to-hot water to the bowl, and let the paper rest for five minutes. Now, start ripping it up so that you can create a watery pulp. Once you get everything into little tiny clumps, pour the mixture on top of the shirt inside your sink.
- Use the shirt as a kind of strainer to get rid of all the excess water. Then, roll the paper into balls and let it dry. Once dry, you can break it up so that it is separated into soft pieces. That’s it!
3. How Much Bedding for Hamster?
The amount of bedding that you will need will depend on the exact size of your hamster’s cage and their breed. That being said, there’s an old saying that the deeper the bedding, the better.
Most owners will find that their hamsters will be happy with around three to four inches of bedding. Some will prefer six or more. The best way to figure out what works for you and your hamster is to gradually add and decrease bedding amounts until you see what they seem most happy with.
Keep in mind that if you pile it too high, you will have to spend more money on replacing the bedding when you change it, and you may also run the risk of a lot of bedding falling out from the cage if you have vents on the lower sides.
4. What Can I Use for Hamster Bedding?
While there are a number of different options that people recommend for hamster bedding on the internet, there are only two safe options:
- Paper bedding (not chemically treated)
- Aspen shavings
Both of these types of beddings do not run the risk of causing them any scratches or pain, and they cannot easily splinter and be eaten by your pet which could be really dangerous in the right situation. Generally, you want something soft that hasn’t been treated with any dangerous chemicals.
5. Can You Use Shredded Paper for Hamster Bedding?
As long as the paper that you are using for hamster bedding is not covered in ink or otherwise treated with chemicals, you can use it as hamster bedding. Keep in mind that many hamsters like to eat their bedding at times, so you really want to follow the “no-ink” rule for their safety.
Among these options, the Absorption Corp Carefresh Ultra Pet Bedding definitely stands out as the best bedding for hamsters because of its super-absorbent mixture that is entirely free from dangerous chemicals, inks, dyes, and oils. You can be sure that your hamster will love this easy-to-use mix, and you’ll love it, too.
Regardless of which hamster bedding you choose, the important thing is that you provide your hamster with a healthy and comfortable home that you love. All of these options are good ones, so just pick one, and you’re good to go!