Best Hedgehog Bedding For Cleanliness & Comfort

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Best hedgehog bedding

While hedgehogs are very unique animals, they still have many of the same basic needs as most other small pets. One of the most important aspects of a hedgehog's care is their environment, specifically their bedding!

Since hedgehogs spend most of their day in their cage, it's essential that their home meets their specific needs. A proper hedgehog bedding will be comfortable and remain clean and fun to be in.

To make it easier to find the best hedgehog bedding for your prickly friend, we've curated a list of the 5 best hedgehog bedding options on the market. Additionally, we've created a handy buyer's guide so that you understand what to look for.

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   Product

OUR #1 RATED

Small Pet Select
Premium Soft Paper Bedding

A bedding that's not only a great value, but is also very absorbent, high-quality, and free of harmful dust.


Vitakraft
Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding

This bedding uses baking soda to control bad odors while remaining very comfortable and easy to burrow into.


Fresh News
Paper Animal Bedding

Uses it's special formula to lock in and control odors for up to 2 weeks with excellent absorption properties.


Healthy Pet
HPCC Natural Bedding

A very durable and absorbent bedding that holds up to playful hedgehogs and provides a comfortable material to nest in.


Carefresh
Complete Pet Bedding

A long-standing and trusted bedding that controls odors for up to 10 days with great absorption and lack of dust.

What Is Hedgehog Bedding Used For?

Hedgehog bedding is the material that's placed at the bottom of a hedgehog's cage that works to provide them with a comfortable place to play, sleep, eat, and nest. Giving your hedgehog enough high-quality bedding is essential because it provides them with an environment that's decently similar to their own natural habitat.

In fact, one of the best ways to make your hedgehog happy is mimicking their natural environment. In the wild, hedgehogs live in grasslands and woodlands in Africa, Asia, and Europe.

In this environment, hedgehogs roam across the grassy plains and take refuge in abandoned burrows of other animals. Healthy amounts of bedding helps to mimic this environment by providing hedgehogs with a soft material that can be burrowed into.

Aside from the comfort and ability to be burrowed into, bedding has quite a bit of utility in the form of odor control and liquid absorption. A quality bedding will work to absorb and lock in fluids, resulting in reduced or eliminated odors. This helps to make your hedgehog's cage a lot cleaner, safer, and more comfortable for them to be in!

Are there Hedgehog Bedding Alternatives?

Although this post highlights some awesome hedgehog bedding options that are affordable and effective, taking a more DIY-approach may be in your best interest. Fortunately, there are a few suitable alternatives for standard hedgehog bedding. You can use one of these alternatives by itself, but they should be combined for maximum effectiveness.

  • Newspaper - Newspaper is a very cheap material that most people will have just sitting around their house. This material acts as a great base and great bedding for a hedgehog's cage. When newspaper is used to line the bottom of a cage, it catches urine and absorbs it instead of letting it sit in the cage. Used as a bedding, newspaper is absorbent and easy to nest in. Make sure that the newspaper that you're using uses non-toxic ink in the event that your hedgehog ingests small amounts.
  • Shredded cardboard - Cardboard is a nice absorbent and clean material for bedding. You can easily get cardboard from a variety of sources like toilet paper rolls and shipping boxes -- just make sure that they also use non-toxic ink. This shouldn't be the only material in your hedgehog's cage, but it does add a nice bit of diversity and effectiveness. 
  • Aspen wood chips - Aspen wood chips aren't necessarily a DIY material, but they are quite different from the paper bedding listed here. Aspen wood shavings are safe for hedgehogs and perform really well as a bedding. When combined with a standard bedding, it works to take your hedgehog's bedding to another level.
  • Paper - While newspaper has been mentioned already, plain paper can also make for a good bedding. Soft papers such as toilet paper, unscented tissues, and napkins are very absorbent. Even paper bags and blank computer paper function well. Quite a few owners opt to shred computer paper in a shredder and use that as their bedding.
  • Fleece - Fleece is another popular option for hedgehog bedding as it's very neat, clean, and quite absorbent. One thing to note about fleece is that it will need to be cleaned quite frequently as it gets dirty quickly.

Helpful Tips For Hedgehog Bedding

While the concept of hedgehog bedding is pretty straightforward, there are still a few things that you should know in order to provide your hedgehog with the best living experience possible.

  • How often should I change my hedgehog's bedding?
  • There isn't a strict guideline that you need to follow when it comes to cleaning your hedgehog's bedding -- it's more of a case-by-case basis. This means that you need to keep an eye on your hedgehog's bedding and determine when it needs to be changed. When you start to notice that the bedding is getting dirty or smelly, that's a good time to change it. Many hedgehog owners find themselves changing out the bedding once every two weeks.

    Fortunately, your hedgehog 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 don't neglect to change it altogether.
  • Will hedgehog bedding control odor?
  • Yes! hedgehog bedding does help to control odor due to the fact that it absorbs and locks in urine. The effectiveness of this odor control is dependent on the bedding that you choose, though. Some bedding has built-in odor control that is generally more effective at controlling odors than bedding without that technology.
  • Can my hedgehog eat its bedding?
  • As long as the hedgehog bedding that you're using doesn't have any harmful added chemicals or sharp pieces, it should be safe to ingest in small amounts. Fortunately, hedgehogs don't tend to eat their bedding, so this shouldn't be a large concern for you.

What Defines The Best Hedgehog Bedding?

While there are a bunch of different hedgehog bedding options available, they're not all created equal. There are some essential characteristics that define the best bedding. Below are some of the factors that we considered when choosing the best hedgehog bedding.

  • Odor control - ​Although hedgehogs aren't the messiest creatures in the world, they can produce a bit of a smell. Therefore, having a bedding with great odor control abilities is the best way to deal with this problem. Some bedding, such as this Vitakraft bedding, has built-in odor control to lock in odors for days or even weeks.​​​
  • Safety - ​Hedgehogs may be pretty clever creatures, but they don't know if their bedding is safe or harmful to them. Because of this, you'll want to get a guinea pig bedding that's safe to both live on and ingest in small amounts. Find a bedding that's made from natural materials that aren't toxic and don't have added chemicals.​​​
  • Absorbency - ​The best hedgehog bedding is one that's very absorbent. Not only does great absorbency help to keep a hedgehog's cage dry and comfortable, but it also locks in urine. Absorbing urine works to lock in odors and prevent smells for quite a while. Additionally, absorbent bedding needs to be changed slightly less frequently, saving you money in the long run and reducing waste.​​​
  • Dust-free - ​A hedgehog bedding that dust-free has a few perks. First of all, dust-free bedding is a lot easier to handle, so it makes cleaning the cage a lot easier. On top of that fact, it's a lot safer for the delicate lungs of hedgehogs. It's also better for you as the owner, especially if you have allergies.​​​
  • Eco-friendly - ​Even if you only have one hedgehog, you'll find yourself going through a decent amount of bedding. Therefore, it's generally a good idea to get a bedding that's eco-friendly and 100% biodegradable to cut back on your waste.​​​
  • Comfort - ​Even if you're very mindful about giving your hedgehog plenty of out-of-cage playtime, they'll still be spending a good amount of their time within their cage. Due to this, you want to provide them with the most soft and comfortable bedding that you can in order to ensure their general well-being.​​​

What Is The Best Hedgehog Bedding?

​There's quite a few great options for hedgehog bedding on the market, so it can understandably be overwhelming to try and find the best for your hedgehog. That's why we've hand-selected and reviewed the 5 best hedgehog bedding options available.

Remember, cleanliness is an important factor. You can supply your hedgehog with the best bedding ever, but if you don't clean it frequently, it's as bad as not using any bedding in the first place.

our #1 rated

OUR TOP PICK

Small Pet Select

Premium Soft Paper Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

​This is one of the most popular bedding options among hedgehog owners, and it's quite clear why that's the case! To begin with, this bedding is a great value, providing more bedding per dollar than most other bedding options. While it is a great value, that doesn't mean that its quality is compromised. This bedding is manufactured without the addition of dangerous or harmful chemicals, making it 100% safe. The paper that it's made from is unbleached and has never been printed on, ensuring that no ink is present. In addition to all of that, it;s a very comfortable and absorbent bedding that expands up to 3 times its initial volume once removed from the packaging.

The general consensus among hedgehog owners is that this bedding is great for their pets. It's commonly referred to as dust-free, fluffy, soft, and absorbs odors effectively. Additionally, many owners point out how much use they got out of a single bag, really driving home the point of its value.

There are a couple things that should be noted about this bedding. First of all, this bedding is advertised as being one volume while the packaging is a different volume. This discrepancy is because of the fact that the bedding expands outside of its packaging, so it isn't false advertising but can be misleading. Additionally, this bedding does control odors well, but its outperformed by bedding with a focus on odor control.

PROS​

  • Excellent value
  • Practically no dust
  • Comfortable and easy to nest in

CONS

  • Sometimes struggles with odor control

our #2 rated

Fresh News

Paper Animal Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

​Fresh News is a bedding manufacturer that's not very well-known, but their product is easily one of the best on the market. This bedding was created with a focus on odor control and elimination, using baking soda to fight ammonia. The combinaion of absorbent bedding and odor-controlling baking soda is not only natural and safe for hedgehogs, but it's also very effective. In addition to the great cleanliness, Fresh News bedding is soft and made from 100 biodegradable materials. The absorbency is also fantastic, with Fresh News boasting that it's more absorbent than any of the leading bedding brands.

While fewer owners have purchased this bedding, they seem to love it for their hedgehog. Of all the compliments that this bedding receives, the two most common are that it's very soft and that it controls odors effectively. Hedgehogs very easily nest in this bedding, making for a comfortable cage environment. It's also very easy to scoop out of a cage in order to clean it.

There is quite a lack of complaints about this bedding, which is not very surprising. A few owners note that the bedding is very lightweight, meaning that it can be tossed around a cage very easily resulting in a mess. It is also a bit pricier than other bedding, but seems to be priced well given the quality.

PROS​

  • Comfortable and soft
  • Fights ammonia with baking soda
  • Made from biodegradable materials

CONS

  • Gets tossed around very easily

our #3 rated

Vitakraft

Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

​If you're looking for a bedding that focuses big-time on odor control, this is one of the best options. Vitakraft's Fresh World bedding controls odors for up to 14 days with its special and effective odor control formula, making a cage feel clean and fresh for a long time. Not only does it control odors well, but it's also quite absorbent as it can absorb up to 3 times its weight in liquid. While this bedding does function well, it's also made well. Fresh World is made from 100% recycled paper that's always unbleached and ink-free. It's also 99.5% dust free, making it gentle on the lungs of both you and your hedgehog.

Hedgehog owners seem to love this bedding. In regards to the advertised odor control, owners state that it's entirely accurate. The bedding works to lock in odors and keeps cages smelling fresh for a surprising amount of time. Most owners that have allergies also state that they don't notice any problems while using this bedding due to its lack of dust. On top of that, it's just a noticeably soft and comfortable bedding.

​While most owners don't have a problem with the dust in this bedding, a couple owners do, stating that it's a bit dusty and crumbly. A handful of owners also state that the odor control isn't incredible. Complaints like these are fairly rare with Fresh World, though.

PROS​

  • Non-toxic, recycled paper
  • Odor control for up to 2 weeks
  • Excellent absorption

CONS

  • Can struggle with odor control

our #4 rated

Healthy Pet

HPCC Natural Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

​If you're looking for an alternative to the Vitakraft Fresh World bedding above, then this is your best option. This Healthy Pet bedding is very similar to it, absorbing up to 3 times its weight to keep a cage clean and dry for long periods of time. It's also quite effective at controlling odors, locking in moisture and controlling ammonia that's present in urine. It's also virtually dust-free, making it both comfortable and safe for hedgehogs and humans alike to be around.

Hedgehog owners that use this bedding are quite pleased with their choice. It's frequently stated that this bedding can put up with the abuse of even the most ​messy hedgehogs, especially for the price. It tends to stay fluffy and absorbent for long periods of time, keeping a cage comfortable and clean.

If an owner has an issue with this bedding, it's with its odor control abilities. A couple owners find that it doesn't control odor extremely well, so they opt to add baking soda to it to achieve the desired effect. Additionally, some owners state that the bedding is a bit rough and dusty. These concerns are few and far between, though, as more owners are more than satisfied.

PROS​

  • Expands a lot out of the packaging
  • Absorbs up to 3 times its weight
  • Virtually dust-free

CONS

  • Can struggle with odor control

our #5 rated

Carefresh

Complete Pet Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

​Carefresh bedding is one of the most popular and widely-available bedding options available, constantly being vouched for on forums and other blogs. This long-standing company has very high standard to live up to with their bedding, and they do a good job of that. Carefresh boasts 10 days of odor control, containing odors and keeping cages smelling fresh for longer. It's also 99% dust-free and safe for sensitive respiratory systems. The materials that it's made from are 100% sustainable, keeping its environmental impact low.

Most hedgehog owners love this bedding! Because of the fact that Carefresh has been around for so long, they're able to offer their bedding at a very competitive price that most poeple love. Additionally, the absorbency and odor control are great, keeping cages noticeably cleaner. Dust irritation is rare, too, proving the 99% dust-free claim.

A few owners note that the bedding is a bit brittle and not very absorbent, while others state the exact opposite. Additionally, some hedgehog owners don't think that the odor control is up to snuff with other bedding, so they opt to add baking soda to it to enhance its effectiveness.

PROS​

  • 10 days of odor control
  • Virtually no dust
  • Made from sustainable, recycled materials

CONS

  • Scattered quality issues

Our Choice

​All 5 of the hedgehog beddings in this post are more than suitable for hedgehogs and meet all of the criteria to provide them with a great environment. Hedgehogs aren't ridiculously hard to keep happy, so an environment that mimics their natural one will effectively keep them happy and healthy.

After carefully analyzing all of the bedding options available, we have determined that the best hedgehog bedding is Small Pet Select Premium Soft Paper Bedding.

This bedding is available at a great value and meets all of the needs of hedgehogs and their owners. The high quality of this bedding combined with its unbeatable pricing makes it a great bedding choice for any hedgehog's cage​

Zach David
Zach David
Zach is a life-long pet owner and enthusiast. He was born into a family with a dog named Murphy, and since then has owned several other dogs, tarantulas, mice, ferrets, fish, geckos, and a cat. This experience has given him the knowledge necessary to help others become excellent pet owners.