Best Snake Bedding For Comfort & Cleanliness

Best snake bedding

Snakes are misunderstood creatures to put it lightly.  Despite the fact that many people are scared of even the thought of them, snakes can be curious, fun, and adorable pets for a lot of people.

Snakes can easily provide you with hours of entertainment and a companion that can live for years. Because of this, it makes sense that owners would want to keep their snake's health, happiness, and overall well-being as strong as possible. All of these things are heavily influenced by a snake's environment, and a snake's bedding is a huge aspect of their environment!

There are several things to consider when picking the best snake bedding for your scaly friend, so we've created a guide to make sure you're as informed as possible about what bedding your snake should be lounging on.

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   Product

OUR #1 RATED

Zoo Med
Eco Earth Loose Coconut Fiber Substrate

Closely resembling an actual forest floor, this substrate is not only natural-looking, but it's also compostable and very absorbent.


Zoo Med
Aspen Snake Bedding

This bedding does a great job absorbing and eliminating odors, and it's also dust-free and easy to clean out of a habitat.


Zoo Med
Forest Floor Bedding

Another very natural looking bedding that, despite holding moisture very well, doesn't rot but maintains its freshness.


Reptile Prime
Coconut Fiber Bedding

Small fibers work to make this bedding both comfortable and very absorbent while eliminating odors and being dust-free.


Reptichip
Premium Coconut Substrate

Larger fibers make up this bedding, but it still retains moisture exceptionally well, thus working to eliminate odors.

What Is Snake Bedding / Substrate?

Snake bedding, also known by the more technical name of substrate, is the material that is placed at the bottom of a snake enclosure for your snake to live on. This bedding serves several purposes. In addition to providing your snake a comfortable place to lay on and bury themselves in, it also regulates the humidity of the enclosure and promotes overall good health.

There are several different kinds of healthy bedding that can be used for your enclosure, ranging from hemp to coconut substrate. Custom bedding can also be made from paper towels or reptile carpet, but these methods aren't as effective.

Not all beddings are created equal, though, as certain kinds have different qualities compared to others, requiring a bit of research. As will be discussed in an upcoming section, the ability to retain humidity and the dustiness of the bedding are huge factors to consider.

Are There Snake Bedding Alternatives?

There are alternatives to store-bought snake bedding, but with those alternatives come some drawbacks. The primary alternatives that are used are paper towels and newspaper, and they're generally considered the best of the alternatives.

The positives of these alternatives are that they're very cheap, they make it easy to perform full-enclosure cleanings, and they make it easy to tell if your snake has gone to the bathroom.

The downsides are that sometimes snakes ingest them, they must be replaced every single time that your snake uses the bathroom, they don't help with odor control, and they look unnatural.

Despite the pros and cons of these alternatives, it comes down to personal preference in the end. As long as your snake is getting the proper care overall with correct heating and humidity in their enclosure, opting for an alternative bedding can be okay for your snake. Below is a video discussing the pros and cons of using paper towels and newspaper instead of normal snake bedding:

What Makes Up The Best Snake Bedding?

As stated previously, not all snake bedding is created equal. The best snake bedding available has certain traits that you need to look out for, and we've listed these traits below to make your decision easier:

  • Appearance - The actual appearance of a snake's bedding can be an important aspect, mostly for the owner. While snakes don't really care about what their environment looks like as long as their needs are met, providing your snake with a natural-looking bedding can really transform a terrarium and make it look quite visually pleasing.
  • Odor control - Snakes can be smelly, especially if their substrate doesn't help you out with odor control. Several kinds of snake bedding are very effective at retaining odor and making the general environment more pleasant and healthy for both you and your snake. Waste management is a large part of keeping a healthy terrarium, so a bedding that takes care of it will make your job a lot easier.
  • Price - The price of a bedding is a very important deciding factor. As a snake owner, you're going to need to keep your snake's environment clean, and this is largely done through keeping fresh bedding constantly on the terrarium floor. This cleanliness will require a lot of bedding over the lifetime of your snake, so finding an affordable bedding is key. Consider purchasing in bulk as the price per liter is generally cheaper.
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    Fiber size - The fiber size of a bedding, as well as how dusty it is, is an important aspect to consider when choosing a bedding. The fiber should either be small enough to not cause harm when swallowed, or large enough to not be swallowed in the first place. Snakes won't purposefully eat bedding, but sometimes it is accidentally ingested, so the worst-case scenario should be considered. Also, the bedding must be mostly dust-free so as not to cause any respiratory problems.
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    Moisture retention - The humidity of a snake's terrarium is one of the main contributors to its health, so finding a bedding that retains the correct amount of moisture is key. Most beddings are really good about this, but it is safe to see if any owners with your same snake have good experiences with keeping the moisture level at a healthy consistent level.

What Is The Best Snake Bedding?

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

Remember, every type of snake is different, so make sure that their specific individual needs are being met through the bedding that you buy and the rest of their environment that they live in.

our #1 rated

OUR TOP PICK

Zoo Med

Eco Earth Coconut Fiber Substrate

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Zoo Med is a leading brand in the bedding and substrate space, and they have created a large amount of different snake beddings that would make for an excellent addition to any snake terrarium. This bedding by Zoo Med lives up to the high standards they've set for themselves, and is a bedding that really checks all of the boxes. Made from the husks of coconuts, this bedding is compostable, odor-eliminating, comfortable for snakes, and looks very natural in a terrarium. Coconut substrate is commonly seen as the best choice for snake bedding, and Zoo Med did a phenomenal job at creating this bedding.

Snake owners that use this bedding have a lot of positive things to say about it. First of all, a common observation is that the bedding is easy to hydrate and holds moisture decently well. This makes upkeep easier and obviously keeps snakes healthier. Additionally, owners note that any waste stays localized in the bedding, and this makes it easy to clean out the waste and leave the rest of the bedding in tact. The dust is also nearly non-existent, which is a positive for snakes and any owners with allergies.

Some owners noted that the bedding was slightly difficult to get to hold water. This is most likely due to the small particle makeup of the bedding. However, a lot of owners seem to have no problem keeping their bedding moist and terrarium humid enough.

PROS​

  • Compostable
  • Natural-looking
  • Odor eliminating
  • Easy to remove waste

CONS

  • Sometimes hard to hydrate

our #2 rated

Zoo Med

Aspen Snake Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Providing an alternative to the coconut husk substrate, Zoo Med has created this Aspen Snake Bedding, which takes a different approach than the Eco Earth. While a lot of beddings are made for several reptiles equally, this bedding was specifically made for snakes -- especially snakes that love to burrow and don't need too much moisture. Oil-free, dust-free, and odor-free, this bedding has a bunch of perks that make terrariums healthy for snakes.

Owners note that this bedding is very easy to clean as it keeps waste localized and makes the waste easy to see. It's also noticeably dust-free, with a fiber size that wouldn't cause any problems for snakes, even if they eat in-cage. The fluffiness of the bedding is also notable, with owners saying how well their snakes can tunnel throughout it.

The downside to this bedding lies in the material - Aspen. This type of bedding can rot when it's damp for too long, so that means that this bedding would either be better for snakes that do well in a drier climate, or should be changed out frequently. For snakes that need a drier climate, though, this bedding has glowing reviews.

PROS​

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to burrow in
  • Odor-free
  • Dust-free

CONS

  • Not too good with moisture

our #3 rated

Zoo Med

Forest Floor Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Yes, yet another Zoo Med bedding creation on our list. We can't help it if this company makes consistently good snake bedding! Regardless, this Forest Floor Bedding is yet another fantastic choice for most snakes. This bedding is made from a natural cypress mulch which gives it a very natural look that's easy for snakes to burrow into. Perhaps even more so than the previous bedding, Forest Floor holds moisture very well and provides great humidity to a terrarium. Although it's cheaper than a lot of bedding, no quality has been sacrificed, and this large bag provides plenty of dust-free, humid moisture for thousands of snakes.

Owners of this bedding have similar experiences as the owners of the previous bedding. They note that it's not dusty, holds moisture ridiculously well without getting moldy, and is a great value for the price. Additionally, some owners opt to mix this bedding with the Eco Earth Coconut bedding to add some volume to make burrowing a bit easier.

Some owners note that some precautions should be taken with this bedding. The bedding is in the style of mulch, meaning that there are exposed wood fibers that may become a problem. If your snake is fed in-cage, it may be a good idea to put their food on a different surface than this bedding as they may ingest some of it.

PROS​

  • Natural-looking
  • Holds moisture well
  • Doesn't rot
  • Great value

CONS

  • Wood fibers can be ingested

our #4 rated

Reptile Prime

Coconut Fiber Bedding

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Reptile Prime has created their own version of Coconut Fiber Bedding, and it comes with a lot of the perks as the Zoo Med coconut fiber bedding. The difference with this bedding is that there is more of a focus on the absorbency of it. Reptile Prime states that this bedding will hold more humidity for a longer period of time, and the coconut husk will take over 35 days before it has the chance of growing any fungus. This makes the bedding a great choice for damper terrariums.

Owners of this bedding are overall pleased with their investment. Many owners applaud the consistency of the bedding, saying that it's not too coarse but also not too powdery. It can be used wet or dry, but most owners use it wet, and they all love how well it holds moisture without any sign of molding. The odor blocking abilities are also well-recognized.

Although Reptile Prime prides themselves in the moisture-holding abilities, a few owners have noted that it doesn't hold moisture super well - at least not as well as Forest Floor. Additionally, the price of the bag is generally higher per liter than the other bags listed here, so it's up to you to decide if the perks are worth the hike in price.

PROS​

  • Great fiber size
  • Generally holds moisture well
  • Dust-free
  • Eliminates odor

CONS

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Sometimes doesn't hold moisture well

our #5 rated

Reptichip

Premium Coconut Substrate

Quality

Value

Our Rating

Although we've discussed a few coconut fiber beddings already, this Premium Coconut Substrate by Reptichip brings a few new things to the table. This bedding comes in small blocks that have to be hydrated before being added to a terrarium. This doesn't result in many characteristic differences after the initial hydration, but it could help maintain the freshness of the bedding. Regardless, this bedding holds moisture very well, creates a humid atmosphere, and looks very natural within a terrarium.

The odor-eliminating capabilities of this bedding are heavily noted by the snake owners that use it. They also note that there is a healthy balance between quality and quantity, as you get a healthy amount of quality bedding for a relatively low price. The fiber size is also great, as they're too big for snakes to accidentally swallow so that isn't a concern.

Some customers have noted that the bedding is slightly dusty, which can cause respiratory problems in both the snake and the owner. Additionally, the fact that the bedding has to be hydrated makes it a slightly more difficult process to get it into a terrarium, but most owners don't have a problem with it.

PROS​

  • Eliminates odors
  • Great value
  • Large fibers
  • Holds moisture well

CONS

  • Slightly dusty
  • Has to be hydrated

Our Choice

All of the different kinds of bedding that've been reviewed are more than suitable for snakes and meet all of the criteria to provide your snake with a great environment. Snakes have specific environmental needs, so it's important to find a bedding that caters to those needs.

After analyzing all of the snake bedding available, we have determined that the best snake bedding is Zoo Med Forest Floor Bedding.

This well-priced and trusted snake bedding has been specifically crafted for snake's needs by one of the leading substrate manufacturers. The qualities of this bedding make it an excellent choice for any terrarium.

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