Best Guinea Pig Bedding For Comfort & Cleanliness

Best guinea pig bedding

Guinea pigs may be very unique and interesting creatures, but they have something in common with most other small pets -- they need soft and absorbent bedding for their cage. Even if you're very active with your guinea pig, they'll be spending a good amount of time chilling out in their cage. Therefore, you'll want to get the best guinea pig bedding for your cavy to ensure that they're as comfortable, healthy, and happy as possible!

In order to make the searching process easier for you, we've created a list of the best guinea pig bedding options available today. We've also created a handy buyer's guide so that you can better understand what your guinea pig needs and what you should be looking for.

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   Product

OUR #1 RATED

Small Pet Select
Premium Soft Paper Bedding

Bedding that's extremely soft and fluffy while remaining very dust-free and is an excellent value for the price.


Vitakraft
Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding

Featuring 14 days of odor control with excellent liquid absorption and made from 100% recycled paper.


Fresh News
Paper Animal Bedding

100% biodegradable bedding that's soft, comfortable, and uses baking soda as an odor eliminating ingredient.


Healthy Pet
HPCC Natural Bedding

Absorbs up to 3 times its weight while being extremely soft, comfortable, and gentle on the environment.


Carefresh
Complete Pet Bedding

Controls odors for 10 days and excellently absorbs liquids while lacking dust and being made from 100% sustainable materials.

What Is Guinea Pig Bedding Used For?

Guinea pig bedding is the material that you place at the bottom of your guinea pig's cage or hutch that provides them with a comfortable place to hang out, sleep, or even use the bathroom! Providing your guinea pig with an adequate amount of quality bedding is essential because it's a lot more natural and comfortable than sleeping on a bare cage floor.

One of the best ways that you can make your guinea pig feel more comfortable is by mimicking their natural environment. In the wild, guinea pigs live in underground burrows and supplement it with a nest to lay in. Proper bedding helps to mimic this underground nest by providing guinea pigs with a soft material that they can play and sleep on.

On top of the comfort factor, bedding in guinea pig cages does wonders for the cleanliness of their environment. Not only does absorbent bedding keep a guinea pig's cage dry and comfortable, but it also helps to cut back on bad odors. Guinea pigs do go to the bathroom a lot, but the best guinea pig bedding absorbs urine, fights ammonia, and keeps their cage much more fresh and clean.

Popular Guinea Pig Bedding Types

This post contains a list of some amazing guinea pig bedding options that meet all of the necessary criteria. However, if you decide to take more of a DIY approach, it can be helpful to understand what the most common kinds of bedding are to potentially craft an absorbent and comfortable environment on your own.

  • Wood shavings - For the longest time, wood shavings were as a bedding material for guinea pigs. However, as more and more people have become conscientious of their guinea pig's health, they've moved away from this bedding material. Not only do wood shavings pose a hazard in the form of splinters, they can also contain certain harmful oils and aren't very absorbent or odor-controlling. It's recommended that you stay away from this type of bedding. 
  • Paper - Most companies make their bedding out of paper, and it's clear why. When made correctly, paper bedding is very absorbent, comfortable, and controls odors nicely. Although paper bedding is generally more expensive than wood shavings, it's a lot safer, more efficient, and a better option overall. Because of the fact that there's so many different kinds of paper bedding, you'll easily be able to find one that perfectly aligns with the needs of you and your guinea pig.
  • Fleece - Recently, fleece has become a very popular guinea pig bedding. Fleece is a very soft and comfortable material, and it's also very absorbent when it has a proper under layer. This bedding can also be reused after each cleaning, making it cheaper and a lot better for the environment in the long run.

Grass Or Hay As Guinea Pig Bedding

While your guinea pig should have a constant supply of grass or hay for eating, that doesn't mean that it would also make a great bedding. A lot of owners opt to give their guinea pigs plenty of grass and hay spread around their cage, but it's always on top of a nice, absorbent bedding.

A big reason why you shouldn't use grass or hay as bedding is because it simply isn't absorbent. One of the main reasons why bedding is so important in a guinea pig's cage is because it absorbs fluids and helps to control odors, and hay and grass don't do these things. Therefore, it doesn't do much beyond being comfortable to lay in.

Additionally, even though guinea pigs will gladly use the bathroom on their grass and hay, they'll just as happily eat that grass and hay. Obviously, this is very unsanitary and shouldn't be promoted by any means. To avoid this issue, one should provide their guinea pig with appropriate bedding and a separate, clean supply of hay and grass for them to eat.

Helpful Tips For Guinea Pig Bedding

While guinea pig bedding may seem pretty straightforward (because it is), there are still a few things that you should know before creating a healthy environment for your guinea pig.

  • How often should I change my guinea pig's bedding?
  • There is no strict timeline to follow when it comes to guinea pig bedding replacement. Because of this, it's very important that you keep a close eye on your guinea pig's cage in order to determine when you should change it. If you notice the bedding getting damp, dirty, or smelly, it's time to change it. Many owners find that they need to change out the bedding once a week.

    You should also consider how many guinea pigs you have in the same cage. Two guinea pigs will produce just about double the amount of waste as one guinea pig, so cleaning frequency will be doubled.
  • Will guinea pig bedding control odor?
  • In general, yes, guinea pig bedding should control odor at least slightly. This odor control comes from the fact that the bedding absorbs liquids and locks them in instead of letting them sit out in the open air. The efficiency of the odor control entirely depends on the type of bedding that is chosen, though. Cheaper bedding generally doesn't have good odor control abilities, while quality bedding can trap odors for days.
  • Can my guinea pig eat its bedding?
  • As long as the guinea pig bedding that you're using doesn't have harmful added chemicals or sharp pieces, it should be fine to ingest in small amounts. Of course, you don't want to promote the eating of bedding, so make sure that your guinea pig is getting plenty of grass and hay.

What Defines The Best Guinea Pig Bedding?

Not all guinea pig bedding is created equal. In fact, some of the guinea pig bedding that we've found is downright unsafe for guinea pigs! Therefore, when you're choosing the best guinea pig bedding for your cavy, you'll want to keep these characteristics in mind:

  • Odor Control - Guinea pigs are pretty messy creatures and can create quite the smell. Therefore, having a bedding that's great at controlling odor is the best way to deal with this problem. Some bedding, such as this one by Vitakraft, has added odor-controlling features to eliminate unpleasant odors for up to 2 weeks.
  • Safety - Guinea pigs may be clever creatures, but they're not clever nor smart enough to know if their bedding is harmful to them. Because of this, you'll want to get a guinea pig bedding that is not only safe to live and sleep on, but is also safe to ingest. Look for a bedding that's made from non-toxic, natural materials and doesn't have added chemicals.
  • Absorbency - The best guinea pig bedding is one that's extremely absorbent. Not only does an absorbent bedding keep a guinea pig's cage dry and comfortable, but it also helps to lock in urine, thus controlling odors and making the environment much cleaner. Additionally, absorbent bedding generally needs to be changed less frequently, saving money and reducing waste.
  • Dust-free - A guinea pig bedding that is dust-free has quite a few perks. On top of the fact that dust-free bedding is a lot easier to clean out of a cage and replace, it's also a lot safer for the delicate lungs of your guinea pig. If you have allergies to dust, a dust-free bedding is a necessity.
  • Eco-friendly - Even if you only have one neat guinea pig, you're still going to end up going through a lot of bedding over their lifetime. Because of this, it's a smart idea to get an eco-friendly bedding that's 100% biodegradable to ensure that the bedding will have a minimal effect on the environment.
  • Comfort - Even if you let your guinea pig out of their cage to run around frequently, they're still going to be spending a good portion of their time in their cage. Because of this, you'll want to provide them with the most soft and comfortable bedding that you possibly can in order to ensure their happiness and well-being.

What Is The Best Guinea Pig Bedding?

There is a large amount of guinea pig bedding available on the market, and it can be overwhelming to look at what's available and try to choose the best for your cavy. That's why we've compiled five of the best guinea pig bedding options and gone over their individual pros and cons.

Remember, cleanliness is important. You could supply your guinea pig with the best bedding in the world, but if you don't maintain their cage's cleanliness, you'll notice plentiful negative health effects on your guinea pig.

our #1 rated

OUR TOP PICK

Small Pet Select

Premium Soft Paper Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

This bedding is one of the most popular options for guinea pig owners, and it's very clear why that is! First thing's first, this bedding is an excellent value, providing more bedding per dollar than most other bedding out there. While the value is excellent, that doesn't take away from its quality. This bedding is 100% safe and manufactured without the addition of harmful or dangerous chemicals. The paper it's made from is unbleached and has never been printed on, ensuring that there's no presence of harmful ink. On top of all of this, it's also very comfortable, absorbent, and expands up to 3 times its initial volume when it's removed from its packaging.

The vast majority of guinea pig owners that went with this bedding are happy with their decision. This bedding is commonly referred to as dust-free, soft, fluffy, and excellent at absorbing odors. Additionally, many owners note that they get a lot of use out of a single bag, really driving home the fact that it's an excellent value.

A couple things should be noted about this bedding. First of all, the bedding is advertised as one volume while the package is a different volume. This is because of the fact that the bedding expands once it's out of its packaging. So, it's not necessarily false advertising, but it can be misleading. Unfortunately, most bedding manufacturers use this strategy. Additionally, this specific bedding isn't the best for odor control, so a dedicated odor-controlling bedding should be used for bathroom spots.

PROS​

  • Dust-free
  • Very fluffy and soft
  • Excellent value

CONS

  • Not the best for odor control

our #2 rated

Vitakraft

Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

If you're looking for a bedding that controls odors really well, this is the bedding to do that. Vitakraft's Fresh World boasts up to 14 days of odor control with its special odor controlling formula, making for an extremely fresh and clean cage. Not only does this bedding control odors well, but it's also very absorbent -- absorbing up to 3 times its weight in liquids. Functionally this bedding is great, but its composition is also quite notable. Fresh World is made from 100% recycled paper that's both unbleached and ink-free. The paper is also 99.5% dust free, making it a great choice if respiratory health is important to you (and it should be).

Guinea pig owners love using this bedding. As far as the advertised odor control goes, most owners state that it's entirely accurate. This bedding locks in odors and keeps cages of multiple guinea pigs smelling fresh. Owners with allergies also note that they have no problem handing this bedding, which is great for both owners and their guinea pigs alike. On top of this, it's also notably soft and comfortable.

Most owners, even ones with pretty severe allergies, have no issues with the dustiness of this bedding. However, a couple of owners do have issues, saying that it's a bit dusty and crumbly. A handful of owners also say that the odor controlling abilities of this bedding aren't the best. These complaints are pretty rare, though.

PROS​

  • Great absorption
  • Made from recycled, non-toxic paper
  • 14 days of odor control

CONS

  • A bit dusty with weaker odor control for a couple of owners

our #3 rated

Fresh News

Paper Animal Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Fresh News is a bit of a lesser-known manufacturer of bedding, but their product is one of the best that we've found and tested. This bedding was created with a big focus on odor control and elimination, fighting ammonia with added baking soda. This special blend of absorbent bedding and odor-fighting baking soda is natural, safe, and very very effective. In addition to the cleanliness, this bedding is very soft and made from 100% biodegradable materials. The absorbency is also fantastic, and Fresh News states that they're even more absorbent than the leading bedding brands.

While fewer owners have purchased and used this bedding, they seem to absolutely love it. The two most prominent compliments that owners give this bedding are that it's very soft and it controls odors effectively. Guinea pigs love to play and nest in this bedding, and it controls their odors very well. It's also easy to scoop out of a cage in order to clean.

There is a nice lack of complaints about this bedding, which is understandable seeing the quality. A couple of owners have noted that the bedding is lightweight which results in it being knocked out of a cage easily. Some other owners see it as too pricey, but that's about it. Overall it's a very solid bedding option.

PROS​

  • Uses baking soda as an ammonia eliminator
  • Very soft and comfortable
  • 100% biodegradable materials

CONS

  • Pretty lightweight, allowing it to get tossed around easily

our #4 rated

Healthy Pet

HPCC Natural Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

If you want an alternative to the Vitakraft bedding above, this bedding by Healthy Pet is extremely similar to it. Much like the Vitakraft bedding, this bedding can absorb up to 3 times its weight in liquid to keep a cage clean and dry for a decent while. As far as odor control goes, this bedding does a great job, not only locking in moisture but controlling the ammonia that's present in urine. It's also virtually dust-free, making it safe and comfortable for guinea pigs to live in and, if they're naughty, much on.

Guinea pig owners that went with this bedding are also very pleased with their choice. It's frequently said that this bedding stands up to the abuse that guinea pigs can put it through, especially for its price. The bedding remains fluffy and comfortable for guinea pigs to live on while remaining extremely absorbent.

The main issue with this bedding for a few owners lies in its odor control abilities. Some owners find that it doesn't control odor very well, so they opt to sprinkle it with baking soda to help it have the desired effect. Additionally, a few owners noted that the bedding is a bit rough and dusty. Like the other bedding, the complaints listed here are pretty rare occurrences, with most owners being more than pleased.

PROS​

  • Dust-free
  • Absorbs up to 3 times its weight
  • Expands well out of the package

CONS

  • Isn't the best for odor control

our #5 rated

Carefresh

Complete Pet Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Carefresh is easily one of the most popular brands of bedding for guinea pigs and is frequently promoted on the Guinea Pig Forum. This long-standing company has high standards to live up to with their products, and they certainly do it with this bedding. It boasts 10 days of solid odor control, containing odors and keeping cages smelling fresh and clean for longer. It's also 99% dust-free, making it healthy for sensitive respiratory systems. The materials that it's made from are 100% sustainable, allowing it to have a very minimal impact on the environment.

Most guinea pig owners love this bedding. Because Carefresh is so established, they're able to offer their bedding at a very competitive price that's very appealing for people. Additionally, it's very absorbent and noticeably reduces the odor within a guinea pig's cage. Irritation from dust from the bedding is rare, too, so the claims of being 99% dust-free hold up.

A couple of owners note that the bedding is pretty brittle and not very absorbent, while other owners have absolutely no problem with either of these points. On top of this, some owners don't think that the bedding controls odors very well, adding baking soda to it to give it that effectiveness.

PROS​

  • Virtually dust-free
  • 10 days of odor control
  • Made from sustainable materials

CONS

  • A couple of quality issues

Our Choice

All of the bedding that we have reviewed are more than suitable for guinea pigs and meet all of the criteria to provide your guinea pig with a great environment. Guinea pigs aren't the most difficult creatures to keep happy, so an environment that's clean and similar to the one that their wild counterparts live in 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 guinea pig bedding is Small Pet Select Premium Soft Paper Bedding.

This well-priced and trusted guinea pig bedding easily meets the needs of guinea pigs and is trusted by thousands of cavy owners. The qualities of this bedding combined with it's phenomenal value make it a great bedding material for all guinea pig cages.

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