Your hedgehog needs bedding which is soft and completely hypoallergenic. The highly sensitive breathing tract of a hedgehog requires a very specific type of bedding and flooring. Many owners prefer to give their little ones an ultra-soft form of bedding and a cheaper highly absorbent floor material.
For most, odor control, convenience and affordability are the deciding factors in which is the best bedding for hedgehogs. Here we’ve put together a look at the top five forms of bedding available for your hedgehog. We’re also going to give you a buyer’s guide to help you decide which is the best bedding for hedgehogs first-hand, and answering a range of your frequently asked questions.
Bedding for Hedgehogs Reviews
Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding
The super-absorbent nature of Carefresh Natural Pet bedding makes it one of the most effective products for your hedgehog. From the amount of bedding provided to its specifications as a pet-safe product, Carefresh excels. Here’s a closer look at this fantastic form of bedding for your hedgehog.
Reclaimed short-fiber pulp which has been processed to remove all harmful components is used by Carefresh. Their bedding is free from any toxic components and has been sanitized under high heat to eliminate bacteria, mold, and fungus.
It is also 99% dust free, guaranteeing it is safe for your hedgehog. Expanding to up to three times its size, you receive a range of different pack sizes, with the 60L being extremely popular. You get to choose from an unbleached white or pet bedding in a light shade of blue.
- carefresh complete comfort care provides all the features small pet parents care about
- SOFT - Made with comfyfluff
- FRESH - 10 day odor control
- DRY - 2X more absorbent than shavings
- CLEAN - Low dust and easy to clean
Natural paper bedding is a healthy reliable choice for any hedgehog, rodent or other small animals. This bedding is so safe that your pets can even chew on it. Each pack gives you odor control for ten-days straight and you can’t beat the convenience of delivery.
The material used is extremely absorbent and does a great job of sucking up urine, odors and other waste. Larger hedgehogs or enclosures with more than one hedgehog may need cleaning more often but the value is still outstanding.
Some owners find this bedding to be slightly too rough of a texture for very small animals such as mice and hamsters but for hedgehogs its perfect. The price is higher than wood shavings and entry-level bedding yet these cheaper options are terrible for the respiratory health of your pet. While not completely odor-free, Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding does have a slight smell which puts some people off. Generally, its subtle enough to be overlooked.
Kaytee CritterTrail Small Animal Habitat Bedding Trays
Bedding trays are very convenient despite their limitations. Plan your habitat around one and you make cleaning a breeze. Here we’re showing you the Kaytee CritterTrail Small Animal Habitat Bedding Trays. They’re an outstanding option for owners of a single hedgehog and very handy for kids & busy parents.
You get three trays in each pack. Kaytee’s bedding is ultra-absorbent and super soft. Each of the three trays filled with bedding are designed to fit standard rectangular CritterTrail habitats. The size measures roughly 17-1/4-inch long x 11-1/2-inch wide which makes it convenient for most enclosures.
- Contains soft and absorbent Kaytee Clean & Cozy bedding
- Provides fast and simple cage cleaning
- Fully disposable and recyclable
- Fits standard rectangular CritterTrail Habitats
- Comes in a 3-pack
If you are going to be teaching your child responsibility by allowing them to clean their hedgehog’s enclosure, then these make for an interesting option. The reusable trays are great for repurposing once the bedding is done, while the convenience of being able to switch out the whole bedding base is wonderful for tiny hands. Once a level of regularity has been reached you can always switch over to something more affordable, yet the price as it is doesn’t break the bank.
Small pets will get about three weeks use out of a pack at a one-week tray changing schedule. This makes this good for owners of small pets but not the best bedding for hedgehogs in a social habitat.
If you do happen to have a custom-built enclosure large enough you could fit two in, but they’re really only designed for Kaytee habitats. Another downside to having three in a pack is how it will last most owners of a one hedgehog three-weeks out the month, not four.
Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding
If you are looking for one of the most hypoallergenic types of pet bedding, then this is your best bet. With no additives, dyes or dust, Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding is made from paper which has never been recycled.
Pack sizes vary between a 56L and a 178L. The 178L gives the best value, supplying just over 16.5 pounds of compressed paper. You can even find even greater value by going for an 8-pack of the 56L, or a 3-pack of the 178L.
All paper used in the manufacturing of this bedding is brand new and has never been recycled. This prevents toxic sludge by-products while the paper itself is rated at 99% dust free. This type of bedding is also much more lightweight than other types of compressed paper.
- White bedding makes it easier to spot "used" Litter and clean up only messy areas
- Soft and absorbent - Made with unbleached Virgin fiber
- 99% dust free and is safe and comfortable for small pets
- Sludge free and never recycled print
- Paper bedding is measured based on volume not weight, as the density of paper varies so much. Jumbo 178L white bedding will always expand to at least 178L usable volume. Weight should have variance between 8lb-12lb.
Unbleached virgin fibers make this one of the healthiest options for your pet. White bedding also makes it very easy for you to detect when your hedgehog’s habitat needs cleaning. It is also great for detecting which areas are messy and in need of immediate attention rather than cleaning the entire cage.
The lack of recycling of extensive processing also means that this bedding is far softer than most competing brands. Odor retention also appears to be better with most users reporting up to four weeks of use before being soaked to the point where it needs a change.
You get a lot of paper in every pack, but this doesn’t leave a lot of room for those on a tight budget. Don’t let the bulk of this bedding put you off. Just a single purchase will setup your hedgehog for many nights of comfortable, odor-free sleeping. The absorption could be criticized for being slightly worse than wood chips but at the cost of your hedgehog’s health, it’s simply not worth it.
Healthy Pet Critter Care Natural Bedding
Healthy Pet Critter Care Natural Bedding is reliable, well-priced and bio-degradable. Each pack gives great moisture absorption and effectively gets rid of odors. It’s a great option for all small animals and comes in good general pack size. Here we’ll be showing you what makes the Health Pet Critter Care Range among the best bedding for hedgehogs.
Each pack gives you 12.5L of compressed paper bedding which expands to fill an area as large as 9 x 6-feet or more, depending on how dense you stack it. The bedding is rated to absorb up to three times its volume in liquid while expanding to double its size in the process.
- Absorbs 3X its weight
- Long lasting odor control
- Expands to 2X its volume
Healthy Pet bedding is easy to fluff by hand and retains its volume quite well. You never have to worry about dust particles it the quality is apparent. It seems that this range of bedding truly does expand to twice its size. Another upside to this product is that it is manufactured in the USA and is fully biodegradable. It comes through on all of its claims and it really leaves behind no dust.
The odor control of Healthy Pet Critter Care Natural Bedding is outstanding for small animals such as hamsters, but owners of hedgehogs and guinea pigs will find themselves having to clean intermittently to keep smells away. The habitat won’t need an entire clean, but it’ll take a few touch-ups on every second day.
Living World Pine Shavings
As one of the highest quality names in pine pet bedding, Living World Pine Shavings is made from completely natural pine. Untreated, soft and fluffy, the shavings are super absorbent, soft and fluffy. Unlike other forms of wood shavings, Living World dries their product in a kiln, making it completely safe for your little one. Here’s a closer look at who this best suited to.
The process of kiln drying gets rid of aromatic oils, all forms of wood debris, and all dust. Harmful microbial and bacterial activity is also destroyed in the process which makes it significantly safer.
Each bag is packed with soft, fluffy shavings which will not cause any respiratory issues for your hedgehog. Fully expanded, a bag of Living World Pine Shavings will fill 2500-cubic inches of volume, which equates to covering a 4 x 4-foot area in a thin layer.
- Helps eliminate aromatic oils, dust and wood debris
- Soft and fluffy shavings can also be used as burrowing and nesting material
- Made from 100-percent natural pine
- Expanded volume 2500-cubic inch
Depending on your opinion, this may not be the best bedding for hedgehogs but it sure does expand to fill a massive amount of space. The feel of natural pine shavings is also very smooth, guaranteeing your furry friend will love the new bedding.
It does a great job of covering odors boasting moisture retention which is on par with or better than most leading pet bedding products. Clean-up doesn’t leave any dust behind and the shavings are pain-free to pick-up once soiled.
There is unfortunately only one pack size available which makes it hard to test whether or not your hedgehog will end up munching on the new bedding.
Best Bedding for Hedgehogs Buyer’s Guide
This buyer’s guide will be taking you through a look at which key factors to keep in mind when selecting bedding for your hedgehog. You always need to buy bedding which is safe for your pet, comfortable to sleep in and walk on, dense enough to dig through, and supplied by a reputable brand guaranteeing its efficacy.
Types of Bedding
Bedding for your hedgehog comes in many various types. Paper pet bedding is the most common type you’ll find. All pet bedding made from paper comes compressed and needs to be fluffed into its full size. It also becomes softer as it expands. This type of popular hedgehog bedding is generally highly absorbent but odor control varies on the type of paper used, but more on this in bedding.
Lastly, you have kiln-dried pine shavings as an option. Manufacturers claim that the shavings are safe due to the oils, dust, and toxins being destroyed in the heating process. The resultant product arrives with good value-for-money & odor control and there’s no visible dust when cleaning up.
The first thing that you need to look for is bedding which is as dust free as possible. The respiratory system of hedgehogs and other small animals are very sensitive. They are capable of inhaling minute particles of dust or debris making dust-free bedding essential. Wood shavings and sawdust will wreak havoc on a hedgehog’s breathing and eyes, irritating both areas incessantly and often leading to more serious complications.
Almost all types of pine shavings are dangerous and will impact the health of your hedgehog. When opting for paper bedding, make sure there isn’t any dust once you arrive at clean-up. Cheaper brands release a lot of dust particles when they become soiled.
Hedgehog bedding is made from various materials. The most common type of bedding found is made from compressed, recycled paper. This bedding undergoes extensive processing prior to being packaged for your pet.
Dyes and paper additives are removed before the paper is heat-treated to get rid of any trace elements of toxins. The highest quality and second bedding material found is pet bedding made from unbleached, unrecycled paper. Thanks to this paper being on its first use, you know that it is free from sludge – or the trace elements of toxins accrued during recycling.
Colors, Sizes & Scents
The only type of hedgehog bedding which will come in any color other than a whitish-unbleached shade is recycled paper bedding. This is the most common type of bedding found and the dyes used are generally natural extracts and safe for your pets. Pet bedding for hedgehogs does not come scented due to their sensitive respiratory tracts. The type and material make a massive difference to odor control.
Absorbing all the liquid or waste does not automatically mean it has no smell. All of the best bedding for hedgehogs will soak up urine, spilled water, liquid from food, and waste products and conceal the smell in the process. Always consider the size of your enclosure before buying new bedding for your hedgehog. Unless you’re trialing a new product, try to buy enough to plan your cleaning schedule ahead of time.
The specifications for moisture absorption and odor-control are pretty reliable once you’ve tested them out for yourself. Bulk packs are great for guaranteeing that you always have bedding on hand for the next month of habitat cleaning.
The benefits of buying a reputable brand include knowing that the health of your pet is truly protected. Specifications listed, such as “dust-free” and “3x absorbent” are put through their paces given the vast amount of people using the product. Many of the dust and paper particles at the root of respiratory issues are not visible to the human eye making established claims extremely important.
Certain brands such as Kaytee CritterTrail have bedding and habitats which work together. This makes cleaning effortless but can ramp up your costs. If you have the opportunity, always buy a smaller size of a reputable bedding brand to test. Once you’ve established that it works, and your hedgehog likes it, you can rake in the savings of buying in bulk.
Best Bedding for Hedgehogs FAQs
What to put in a hedgehog cage?
Every hedgehog cage needs to start with a base of bedding which will not cause any respiratory issues for your little one. As before mentioned, you can always go for super-soft lining for inside your hedgehog’s house, and then line the floor with something more absorbent. Make sure that you place a food and water bowl.
Water bottles are a matter of preference, but they are much more convenient for keeping water constantly clean. Most hedgehogs need to grow up with them though. Another essential component to every cage is a large running wheel of 12-inch diameter or greater.
Again, the younger they get one the better. Your hedgehog also needs a covered shelter to sleep in. Consider lining this is winter or getting a sleeping sack. Toys should be in constant supply. These little one’s love tunneling and climbing. Almost anything can be repurposed into a toy is climb on or over, or a tube to dive through or sit in.
What kind of bedding do hedgehogs need?
Natural hedgehog nests are normally found under brambles or at the base of hedges and bushes. Hedgehogs wrap together a selection of materials included mosses, grass, and leaves. To mimic this, you need an enclosure giving complete cover from the outside. The bedding needs to be free from dust and it can’t contain any toxins, dyes or oils.
As it becomes saturated it must do nothing other than retain the moisture. There must be no chemicals or oils to release. Your hedgehog’s bedding also needs to be dense enough to dig and tunnel in. In nature, hedgehogs have tunnels reaching between safe areas. You need to give them enough floor-covering for them to cavern through.
Make sure that whatever you use as bedding is easy to clean. Hedgehogs are clean creatures, as are most small animals. You’ll find that they normally only go to the bathroom in one place unless the whole of the enclosure is a mess. This is why buying in bulk is always a good idea, giving you enough bedding to replace selective areas they become soiled.
Are aspen shavings safe?
Conventional wood shavings have an instantly-recognizable odor which hints towards the problem. The aromatic oils within wood shavings are extremely volatile to the respiratory health of your hedgehog and other small animals.
In addition, any dust particles which remain will be inhaled and will irritate the eyes of your little one. Aspen shavings are only available in the USA and are derived from hardwood. They are far safer than conventional shavings because they don’t contain any phenols, the chemical behind the a-typical smell of wood.
Phenols are the main cause of irritation in the body due to their plicatic or abietic acid. These acids which form in other types of wood are known to destroy cells in the lining of the lungs and trachea. Aspen shavings are economical and won’t cause any sneezing or respiration issues while offering decent odor control. You will need to replace them more often than paper bedding though.
Can hedgehogs have pine bedding?
Standard pine shavings are unsafe for small animals due to being loaded with phenols. There are also far too many fine particles left attached the shavings themselves. However, kiln-dried pine is a suitable alternative to compressed paper bedding.
The heat treatment gets rid of any latent bacteria and toxins while also destroying dust. With none of the volatile oils left and all of the roughness and dust gone, kiln-dried bedding is among the best bedding for hedgehogs, especially if your hedgehog doesn’t chew on his or her bedding.
How to choose bedding for hedgehogs?
The best bedding for hedgehogs is a decision left to personal preference. All five options listed make for good choices depending on how many hedgehogs you own and what your circumstances are. Kiln-dried pine shavings give owners an affordable way to line the floor of their hedgehog’s habitat. You can reach a good density for digging and tunneling without breaking the bank.
Yet, the area where your hedgehog sleeps should rather be filled with something softer. When you buy compressed paper bedding in bulk you get enough to line the whole habitat and a soft place for your hedgehog to lie his or her head, but rather buy a smaller pack first if you’re uncertain. Once you open the bag, smell that its odor free, and establish how long it lasts, you’re free to buy in bulk. You’ll always need a ready supply of bedding.
Trying to teach a young child responsibility without giving them too much pressure? Go for a Kaytee habitat and bedding tray. It also works if you’re under a lot of pressure yourself. In most other cases the Healthy Pet Critter Care Natural Bedding offers the best value for money. Bulk buys give you enough bedding to last thanks to the reliable odor control and excellent coverage it offers.
However, if you’re not constrained by a budget and want the best then consider Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding. It looks great and you can’t top the paper quality, making it the best bedding for hedgehogs but not necessarily the cheapest.