Gerbils are energetic and curious creatures that are full of life and so fun to have around! These small animals make for amazing pets for almost anyone, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re super easy to care for. Gerbils have specific needs that need to be met in order for them to stay as happy and healthy as possible.
One of the most important needs is their environment, specifically their bedding! Since gerbils spend most of their day in their cage, it’s essential that they’re given a home that meets their specific needs. A proper gerbil bedding will keep their cage clean, comfortable, and fun to be in.
To make it easier for you to care for your gerbil, we’ve curated a list of the 5 best gerbil bedding options available, in addition to a comprehensive buyer’s guide!
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OUR #1 RATED
Small Pet SelectPremium Soft Paper Bedding
A bedding that’s available for an excellent price and has a high-quality, dust-free, absorbent composition.
Fresh NewsPaper Animal Bedding
Uses baking soda to control bad odors while staying extremely soft, fluffy, and easy to burrow in.
VitakraftFresh World Strength Crumble Bedding
Controls odors for up to 2 weeks with excellent absorption abilities and made from sustainable materials.
Healthy PetHPCC Natural Bedding
A durable, very absorbent bedding that holds up to playful gerbils and provides a comfortable material to burrow through.
CarefreshComplete Pet Bedding
A long-standing bedding that controls odors up to 10 days through its excellent absorption and lack of dust.
What Is Gerbil Bedding Used For?
Gerbil bedding is the material that you place at the bottom of your gerbil’s cage that provides them with a comfortable place to eat, sleep, play, and burrow. Providing your gerbil with an adequate amount of high-quality bedding is essential because it provides them with an environment that’s very similar to their natural habitat.
One of the best ways that you can make your gerbil feel comfortable and happy is by mimicking their natural environment. In the wild, gerbils live in the sandy plains of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In this environment, they do quite a bit of running around above ground, but resort to underground burrows to stash food and feel safe. Large amounts of bedding helps to mimic this environment by providing gerbils with a soft material that they can burrow into.
Aside from the comfort and burrowing ability that bedding brings, it also has quite a bit of utility in the form of odor control and liquid absorption. A quality, absorbent bedding will help to lock in fluids and lessen or block bad odors. This helps to make your gerbil’s cage much more healthy, safe, and comfortable for both your gerbil and yourself!
Are there Gerbil Bedding Alternatives?
Although this post contains some very affordable, high-quality gerbil bedding, taking a more DIY approach could definitely be in your best interest. Fortunately, there are several suitable and safe replacements for traditional gerbil bedding. You can use this alone, but they should be combined for maximum effectiveness.
- Newspaper – Newspaper is a very cheap material that most people have plenty of just sitting around their house. This material acts as both a great base and great bedding material for your gerbil’s cage. When lining the bottom of the cage, it helps to catch urine instead of letting it sit at the bottom of the cage. As an actual bedding, it’s absorbent and easy to burrow through. Make sure that the newspaper that you’re using uses non-toxic ink, as your gerbil may ingest some of it.
- Shredded cardboard – Cardboard is a nicely absorbent, clean bedding material for gerbils. You can get cardboard easily from toilet paper rolls and shipping boxes, but make sure that it also has non-toxic ink. This shouldn’t be the only material in your gerbil’s cage, but it adds diversity to their bedding mixture.
- Paper – While newspaper was mentioned already, plain paper is a bit different but can also make for a great bedding. Soft papers such as unscented tissues, toilet paper, and napkins are very absorbent. Paper bags and blank computer paper also work very well. Many owners opt to shred computer paper in a shredder to create their bedding.
- Aspen wood chips – Aspen wood chips aren’t necessarily a DIY alternative like the other materials listed here, but they are different from the paper bedding in this list. Aspen wood shavings are safe for gerbils and performs excellently as a bedding. When mixed with another material, it really takes your gerbil’s bedding to the next level.
Helpful Tips For Gerbil Bedding
While gerbil bedding is a pretty straightforward thing, there are still a few things that you should know and consider in order to provide your gerbil with the best possible environment.
- How often should I change my gerbil’s bedding?
- There is no strict timeline to follow when it comes to bedding replacement. This means that you need to be diligent and keep an eye on your gerbil’s bedding in order to determine when it’s time to change it. When you start to notice the bedding getting a little dirty or smelly, that’s generally when you should change it out. Most gerbil owners find themselves changing out the bedding once every two weeks.Fortunately, your gerbils will pick one or two spots to use the bathroom. This is the area that you’ll need to clean the most. The rest of the cage will need to be changed less frequently, but it definitely shouldn’t be neglected.
- Will gerbil bedding control odor?
- Yes, gerbil bedding does help to control odor due to the fact that it absorbs and locks in urine. However, the effectiveness of this odor control depends on the type of bedding that you choose. Some bedding is created with built-in odor control and is generally more effective at controlling odors than bedding that doesn’t have that addition.
- Can my gerbil eat its bedding?
- As long as the gerbil bedding that you’re using doesn’t have any harmful added chemicals or sharp pieces, it should be totally fine for them to ingest small amounts of their bedding. However, just because it’s safe doesn’t mean that it should be encouraged. Additionally, if your gerbil has a tendency to eat their bedding, avoid wood shavings as they can potentially cause internal damage.
What Defines The Best Gerbil Bedding?
While there are a ton of hamster bedding options available today, there are some essential characteristics that define the absolute best bedding. We’ve taken each of these characteristics into account when choosing the bedding for this list to ensure that your gerbil’s needs are being met.
- Odor control – Gerbil cages can get a bit smelly, especially if you have several gerbils all living in the same cage. Therefore, the best way to take care of this issue is to choose a bedding that’s excellent at controlling odor. Although all bedding should control odor in some way through their absorption, special bedding comes with built-in odor control for up to 2 weeks of odor elimination.
- Safety – Gerbils may be clever little creatures, but they’re not clever enough to know if their bedding is hurting them. You’ll want to make sure that your gerbil’s bedding is non-toxic and 100% safe to consume. Your gerbil will be spending most of their time in their bedding, so safety is a priority.
- Absorbency – Some of the best gerbil bedding options are ones that are extremely absorbent. Absorbent bedding is bedding that has to be changed less frequently because it effectively locks in fluids and bad odors. Additionally, a very absorbent bedding makes for a much cleaner, drier, and more comfortable environment.
- Dust-free – The dustiness of a gerbil bedding is a small detail that should definitely be taken into consideration. A bedding that’s dust-free or has almost no dust makes the process of cleaning the cage a lot easier. It’s also easier on the respiratory systems of you and your gerbil.
- Eco-friendly – Even if you don’t have a huge gerbil family, you’ll still find yourself going through a healthy amount of bedding. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get a bedding that’s eco-friendly and is 100% biodegradable and compostable. This ensures that the bedding will have a minimal effect on the environment.
- Comfort – Your gerbils are going to be spending a majority of their time in their bedding! Because of this, you’ll want to provide them with the softest and most absorbent bedding that you possibly can. Remember, your gerbil’s ability to burrow into the bedding is also an important player into their comfort.
What Is The Best Gerbil Bedding?
With so many gerbil bedding options available on the market, it can be a bit overwhelming to try and find the perfect bedding for your gerbils. That’s why we’ve looked at all of the bedding that we could find and thoroughly analyzed and reviewed the top 5 choices while giving their individual pros and cons.
It’s also important to remember that cleanliness is important. You could have the best bedding filling your gerbil’s cage, but if it’s dirty bedding that needs to be changed, it’s just as effective as the lowest quality stuff.
our #1 rated
OUR TOP PICK
Small Pet Select
Premium Soft Paper Bedding
This is one of the most popular bedding options available, and it’s very clear why that is once you look at it. First of all, this bedding is available at an excellent value, generally giving you more bedding per dollar than its competitors do. The great value doesn’t impact the quality, though. This bedding is manufactured without the addition of potentially harmful chemicals and made from paper that’s never been bleached or printed on, making it 100% safe. On top of this, it’s very absorbent, fluffy, comfortable, and expands up to 3 times its size when it’s removed from its packaging.
The vast majority of gerbil owners that go with this bedding are pleased with their choice. Owners commonly describe this bedding as fluffy, absorbent, and dust-free with excellent odor controlling abilities. In addition to the excellent quality, many owners note that they get months of use out of a bag of bedding, driving home the fact that it’s a great value.
Two things should be noted about this product. First of all, the bedding is advertised as being one volume while the packaging says another volume. This is because the bedding expands once it’s out of its packaging, so it isn’t necessarily wrong in this aspect but it is misleading. This is a common thing among bedding manufacturers. Additionally, this bedding doesn’t have additional built-in odor control, so a dedicated odor-controlling bedding may be the better option for bathroom spots.
- Comfortable and easy to burrow in
- Practically no dust
- Great value
- Doesn’t control odor extremely well
our #2 rated
Paper Animal Bedding
Fresh News is definitely a smaller, lesser-known company in the bedding space, but they’ve still created an excellent product. This bedding was specially crafted with a focus on odor control and elimination, using baking soda to fight ammonia that forms in animal urine. This recipe effectively eliminates most of the odors in your gerbil’s cage. In addition to this cleanliness, the bedding is extremely soft and made from 100% biodegradable materials. The company itself has also explicitly stated that their bedding is more absorbent than the top small animal bedding on the market.
Owners that tried this bedding with their gerbils really love it. The two most prominent compliments that this bedding gets are in regards to its softness and its odor-controlling abilities. Gerbils love to play on this bedding and burrow through it, and it controls odors excellently. Additionally, it’s easy to scoop out of a cage when it’s time to clean.
There are almost no complaints about this bedding, and it’s pretty clear why that is – it’s an all-around effective and solid bedding! A couple of owners have noted that the bedding is pretty lightweight, meaning that it can get knocked out of a cage pretty easily. However, if you have a gerbil cage or tank with high walls, this shouldn’t be much of an issue for you.
- Uses baking soda to fight ammonia
- Made from biodegradable materials
- Comfortable and soft
- Lightweight so it can get tossed around easily
our #3 rated
Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding
If you’re looking for a bedding that does an excellent job controlling odors, this Fresh World bedding by Vitakraft would be great for you. Vitakraft states proudly that this bedding can control odor for up to 14 days with a special odor-blocking formula. On top of the great odor control, the bedding is also quite absorbent, easily absorbing up to 3 times its weight. The bedding is also made from 100% recycled paper that’s unbleached and non-toxic for gerbils. It’s also 99.5% dust-free, making it safe for both gerbils and humans to be around it.
Gerbil owners that use this bedding are generally very happy with it. The odor control that’s advertised is pretty accurate, with most owners not being able to smell their gerbil’s cage at all. Owners with allergies also respond very well to this bedding, stating that they have no problem being around and handling it for long periods. Additionally, it’s just a noticeably comfortable and absorbent bedding.
In areas where most owners gave this bedding shining reviews, a couple of owners went against the grain. This minority states that the bedding is a bit dusty and crumbly while not controlling odors extremely well. Since very few owners make these comments, though, it’s safe to assume that most would have a good experience with it.
- Recycled, non-toxic paper
- Excellent absorption
- Odor control for up to 14 days
- Sometimes struggles with odor control
our #4 rated
HPCC Natural Bedding
Healthy Pet Critter Car bedding is a bedding that’s very similar to Vitakraft’s. Much like that bedding, this product easily absorbs up to 3 times its weight, helping to provide your gerbils with a clean and dry environment for a long period of time. When it comes to odor control, this bedding works by controlling the ammonia that forms in animal urine, making it very effective in that aspect. The bedding is also virtually dust-free, making it a safe and comfortable choice for any cage.
Gerbil owners that use this bedding are overall happy with it, saying that it holds up well to the abuse that their rowdy gerbils put it through. Especially for the price, this bedding is exceptionally fluffy and comfortable while remaining absorbent and good at controlling odors. On top of this, the environmental benefits of this bedding are appreciated by many of the users of this bedding.
The main concern about this bedding lies in its odor control abilities. Some owners state that they can still smell the odor from their gerbil’s cage, so they opt to sprinkle baking soda underneath the bedding to help with the liquid absorption and odor control. A handful of owners have also noted that the bedding is a bit rough and dusty, while most others have no problem with it.
- Virtually dust-free
- Expands a lot once out of packaging
- Absorbs up to 3 times its weight
- Sometimes struggles to control odor
our #5 rated
Complete Pet Bedding
Carefresh is one of the most popular brands of bedding, and their Complete bedding is one of their best products. This long-standing company has spent years creating a product that checks all of the boxes of the best gerbil bedding. It has 10 days of odor control to keep cages smelling cleaner for longer, and it’s also 99% dust-free to make it safe and irritation-free. The materials that it’s made from are 100% sustainable and renewable wood fibers, meaning that it has virtually no effect on the environment.
Most gerbil owners love this bedding, stating that it’s an excellent value and is consistent in its quality. Additionally, the bedding itself is very absorbent and does help to eliminate most odors from a gerbil’s cage. Only a few owners have noticed any irritation from the bedding, showing its lack of dust.
Some owners do note that their bedding is pretty brittle and not very absorbent, while other owners have absolutely no issue with these points. On top of this, some owners do say that the bedding doesn’t control odors extremely well, opting to use baking soda to help remedy this problem.
- Virtually no dust
- Made from sustainable, recycled materials
- 10 days of odor control
- Scattered quality issues
All of the bedding that we have reviewed are more than suitable for gerbils and meet all of the criteria to provide your gerbil with a great environment that they’ll love. Gerbils may be energetic, strange little creatures, but they’re not very difficult to properly care for. Providing them with a great environment is one of the best ways to ensure their well-being.After analyzing all of the bedding options available, we have determined that the best gerbil bedding is Small Pet Select Premium Soft Paper Bedding.This well-priced and trusted gerbil bedding easily meets the needs of gerbils and is trusted by thousands of gerbil owners. The qualities of this bedding combined with it’s phenomenal value make it a great choice for all gerbil owners that want to provide their pets with a safe and fun environment.