Hamsters may be small creatures, but they’re capable of being such funny and interesting little pets. However, in order to be such great pets, hamsters have a few different requirements that must be met. One of those important requirements is that they have a healthy, complete environment to live in.
Your hamster’s bedding is a huge part of their environment, as it’s where they sleep, poop, play, and live! Therefore, you want to get the best hamster bedding for your hammy to ensure that they’re as comfortable and healthy as possible.
That’s why we’ve created a list of the best hamster bedding options, as well as a comprehensive buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for.
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OUR #1 RATED
Small Pet SelectPremium Soft Paper Bedding
Bedding that’s extremely soft and fluffy while remaining very dust-free and is an excellent value for the price.
VitakraftFresh World Strength Crumble Bedding
Featuring 14 days of odor control with excellent liquid absorption and made from 100% recycled paper.
Fresh NewsPaper Animal Bedding
100% biodegradable bedding that’s soft, comfortable, and uses baking soda as an odor eliminating ingredient.
Healthy PetHPCC Natural Bedding
Absorbs up to 3 times its weight while being extremely soft, comfortable, and gentle on the environment.
CarefreshComplete Pet Bedding
Controls odors for 10 days and excellently absorbs liquids while lacking dust and being made from 100% sustainable materials.
What Is Hamster Bedding Used For?
Hamster bedding is the material that you place at the bottom of your hamster’s cage that provides them with a comfortable place to sleep, hang out, and even go to the bathroom. Providing your hamster with enough quality bedding is essential because it’s a lot more natural than sleeping on a hard surface or a blanket.
One of the best ways that you can make your hamster feel comfortable is by mimicking their natural environment. In the wild, hamsters absolutely love to build underground nests where they spend most of their time. Bedding helps to mimic this underground nest by providing a soft material that they can live on and sleep in, and it’s an essential part of your hamster’s cage.
Hamster bedding is also used for entertainment purposes! Hamsters love to eat and dig more than anything else. Providing your hamster with an adequate amount of bedding is a surefire way to help them fulfill their burrowing and munching urges.
Finally, hamster bedding provides utility beyond basic comfort. Two of the big benefits of hamster bedding are moisture and smell absorption. It won’t entirely control these things, but it will help by absorbing a good amount of moisture and the bad odors that typically come with it.
Are There Hamster Bedding Alternatives?
We have compiled some amazing bedding that is very affordable and effective at doing what the best hamster bedding should do. However, taking a more DIY approach may be in your best interest. Fortunately, there are several suitable replacements for traditional hamster bedding.
- Newspaper – Newspaper is a material that most people have plenty of just sitting around their house. This material acts as a fantastic base for your hamster’s cage, but shouldn’t be the only bedding provided — it’s recommended that you place paper bedding or fleece over top of the newspaper, too. Make sure that the newspaper uses non-toxic ink, and be warned that many hamsters will shred this paper up easily.
- Shredded cardboard – Cardboard is a nicely absorbent, clean bedding materials for hamsters. A variety of sources are great to get your cardboard from, such as shipping boxes and toilet paper rolls, but make sure that they don’t contain toxic ink, either.
- Paper – While we did mention newspaper, paper is a bit different but also makes for a great base. Some soft papers such as unscented facial tissues, toilet paper, and napkins work really well for urine absorption. Paper bags and blank computer paper also work really well. Many owners opt to shred computer paper in a shredder to make their bedding.
Helpful Tips For Hamster Bedding
While hamster bedding may seem pretty straightforward (because it is), there are still a few things that you should know and consider in order to provide your hamster with the best possible environment.
- How often should I change my hamster’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 hamster’s bedding in order to determine when it’s time to change it. If you notice the bedding getting damp, dirty, or smelly, it’s time to change it out. Many owners find themselves changing out the bedding every two weeks.You also need to remember that hamsters often bury their food in their bedding. In order to not stress out your hamster, make sure that you leave a little bit of this stash when cleaning.
- Will hamster bedding control odor?
- In general, yes, hamster bedding should help control odor because it’s absorbing some of the liquids. However, the efficiency of the odor control entirely depends on the type of bedding that you choose. Some bedding won’t have any odor control abilities, while others can trap odor for days at a time.
- Can my hamster eat its bedding?
- As long as the hamster bedding that you’re using doesn’t have any added chemicals or sharp pieces, it should generally be fine to ingest. Most paper hamster bedding is soft and safe when consumed. Avoid most wood shaving bedding types, as they can internally harm your hamster if they eat the wood pieces.
What Defines The Best Hamster Bedding?
Not all hamster bedding is created equal. In fact, some of the hamster bedding that we’ve found is simply not safe for hamsters to live on! So, when you’re choosing the best bedding for your hammy, you’ll want to keep these key characteristics in mind:
- Odor control – Hamsters can be a bit smelly – especially if you’re not cleaning their cage every single day. Therefore, having a bedding that’s excellent at controlling odor is the best way to take care of this issue. Some bedding, such as this one by Vitakraft, has built-in odor control to eliminate unpleasant hamster odors for several days straight.
- Safety – Hamsters may be clever little creatures, but they’re not clever enough to know if their bedding is harmful to them or not. Because of the fact that your hamster’s bedding is a massive part of their environment, you’ll want one that’s non-toxic and 100% safe to consume.
- Absorbency – The best hamster bedding is one that’s very absorbent. Absorbent bedding is bedding that has to be changed less frequently because it locks in more fluids and bad odors. Additionally, an absorbent bedding is just cleaner, drier, and more comfortable for a hamster to live on and in.
- Dust-free – The dustiness of a hamster bedding is something that should definitely be considered. A bedding that is dust-free makes the process of changing the bedding and cleaning the cage a lot easier. It’s also a lot easier on you and your hamster’s respiratory system.
- Eco-friendly – Even if you only have one hamster, you’re still going to end up going through a lot of bedding over their lifespan. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get an eco-friendly bedding that’s 100% biodegradable and compostable. This ensures that the bedding will have a minimal effect on the environment.
- Comfort – Your hamster is going to be spending a massive percentage of their life on and in their bedding. Because of this, you’ll want to provide them with the softest, most comfortable bedding possible to ensure their relaxation and happiness.
What Is The Best Hamster Bedding?
There is a large amount of hamster bedding available on the market, and it can be overwhelming to look at what’s available and try to choose the best for your hamster. That’s why we’ve compiled five of the best hamster bedding options and gone over their individual pros and cons.Remember, cleanliness is important. You could supply your hamster 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 hamster.
our #1 rated
OUR TOP PICK
Small Pet Select
Premium Soft Paper Bedding
It’s very clear why this bedding is one of the most popular options available once you look at it. First and foremost, this bedding is an excellent value, providing more bedding per dollar than its competitors. This excellent value doesn’t impact the quality, though. The bedding is 100% safe and is manufactured without the addition of potentially harmful chemicals. It’s also made with paper that’s unbleached and never printed on, removing the possibility of your hamster being around harmful ink. Additionally, it’s super comfortable, very absorbent, and expands up to 3 times its volume when removed from the initial packaging.
A majority of hamster owners that decide to go with this bedding are very pleased with their decision. Owners commonly describe this bedding as dust-free, soft, very fluffy, and absorbs odors surprisingly well. In addition to the great quality, many owners note that they’re able to get a lot of use out of a single bag of bedding, driving home the point that it’s a great value.
There are two things that should be noted about this product. First of all, this bedding is advertised as one volume amount while the package is a different volume. This is due to the fact that the bedding expands when out of the bag, so it isn’t wrong but may be misleading (lots of bedding manufacturers do this). Additionally, this bedding isn’t the best for odor control, so a dedicated odor-controlling bedding may be better for bathroom spots.
- Very fluffy and soft
- Excellent value
- Not the best for odor control
our #2 rated
Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding
If you’d like a bedding for your hamster that’s based around great odor control, this Vitakraft bedding would be perfect for you. This Fresh World bedding proudly states that it can control odor for up to 14 days with its special odor blocking formula. On top of keeping the cage smelling great, it’s also very absorbent — easily absorbing up to 3 times its weight in liquid. The actual composition of this bedding is great, too, as it’s made from 100% recycled paper that’s unbleached and non-toxic for hamsters. Additionally, this bedding is 99.5% dust-free, making it safe for little lungs and easy to clean up.
Hamster owners that use this bedding tend to be very happy with it. The advertised odor control is great, with very few owners being able smell the cage and hamster waste. Owners with allergies also react very well to this bedding, stating that they have no problem being around this bedding for prolonged periods. It’s also just a notably comfortable and soft bedding.
Most owners have absolutely no problem with the dustiness of this bedding, but a couple of owners do, noting that it is a bit dusty and crumbly. A handful also state that it doesn’t control odors extremely well and they can still smell their hamster. These owners are a minority, though, so it’s safe to assume that you likely wouldn’t have these issues.
- Great absorption
- Made from recycled, non-toxic paper
- 14 days of odor control
- A bit dusty with weaker odor control for a couple of owners
our #3 rated
Paper Animal Bedding
Although Fresh News is a smaller company in the hamster bedding space, they’ve still created an excellent product. This bedding was created with a focus on odor control and elimination, using baking soda to fight the ammonia that comes with pet urine. This special recipe really helps to make a cleaner and fresher environment. In addition to the cleanliness, this bedding is very soft and is also made from 100% biodegradable materials. Fresh News also makes it clear that they are more absorbent than the leading bedding brand, providing you with more bang for your buck.
Owners that tried out this bedding with their hamsters seem to really love it. Two of the most prominent compliments that the bedding gets are in regards to its softness and its odor-controlling abilities. Hamsters absolutely love to play on and in this bedding, and it does a great job of controlling odors. Additionally, it’s very easy to scoop out of a cage and clean when needed.
There is a nice lack of complaints about this bedding, which is awesome to see. A couple of owners have noted that the bedding is pretty lightweight and can knocked out of a cage easily, and a few others see it as pricey, but that’s about it as far as complaints go.
- Uses baking soda as an ammonia eliminator
- Very soft and comfortable
- 100% biodegradable materials
- Pretty lightweight, allowing it to get tossed around easily
our #4 rated
HPCC Natural Bedding
This Healthy Pet bedding is one that’s very similar to the bedding above by Vitakraft. Similar to that bedding, this product absorbs up to 3 times its weight in liquid, providing your hamster with a very clean and dry environment for long periods of time. In terms of odor control, it performs excellently by controlling the ammonia that’s present in hamster urine. This bedding is also virtually dust-free, making it safe and comfortable for hamsters to live on and for owners to frequently handle.
Hamster owners that went with this bedding are also very pleased. It’s frequently said that this bedding holds up well to the abuse that hamsters can put it through, and it does its job exceptionally well for its price. It remains fluffy and comfortable for hamsters to live on while still being extremely absorbent. The environmental benefits of the recycled materials are another perk that owners love.
The main concern about this bedding lies in the odor controlling abilities. A handful of owners don’t see much effectiveness in terms of the control of their hamster’s smell, so they opt to sprinkle some baking soda underneath in order to assist with that. A few owners have also stated that the bedding is a bit rough and dusty. These complaints are in the minority, so the issues may be due to occasional quality issues, but we can’t be sure.
- Absorbs up to 3 times its weight
- Expands well out of the package
- Isn’t the best for odor control
our #5 rated
Complete Pet Bedding
Carefresh is one of the most popular brands in the hamster bedding space, and it’s pretty clear why that is. This long-standing company has created a product that checks all of the boxes of the best hamster bedding. It boasts 10 days of odor control abilities, containing odors and keeping your hamster’s cage fresh and clean for longer. It’s also 99% dust-free which makes it friendly for both hamsters and humans alike. The materials are made from 100% sustainable and renewable wood fibers, allowing it to have a very minimal effect on the environment.
Most hamster owners love this bedding. The value of it is something that is noted quite a bit within the reviews. Additionally, it’s very absorbent and noticeably reduces odor within a hamster’s cage. Very few owners note irritation from the bedding itself, giving proof that it mostly lacks dust.
Some owners do note that their bedding is pretty brittle and not the most absorbent, while other owners don’t have an issue with either of these points. Additionally, some owners do note that the odor controlling abilities aren’t superb, opting to add baking soda to help aid that problem.
- Virtually dust-free
- 10 days of odor control
- Made from sustainable materials
- A couple of quality issues
All of the bedding that we have reviewed are more than suitable for hamsters and meet all of the criteria to provide your hamster with a great environment. Hamsters 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.
This well-priced and trusted hamster bedding easily meets the needs of hamsters and is trusted by thousands of hamster owners. The qualities of this bedding combined with it’s phenomenal value make it a great choice for all hamster owners.