Very Sweet Hamster in His Cage

10 Best Hamster Bedding: Buyers Guide

The best types of bedding for hamsters is soft, absorbent, and effective at odor control.

There are a lot of beddings for small animals on the market, but not all of them are safe or very good for your hamster.

To save you a bit of time, we’ve picked out the 10 best hamster beddings that are great for your pet and keeping their cage smelling fresher for longer.

The Best Types Of Bedding For Hamsters

Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding

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Carefresh is a popular bedding that is used by a lot of small animal owners, and for good reason!

It’s made out of natural, raw paper that is taken straight from the source. The fibers used in Carefresh are extremely soft, which makes it perfect nesting material for your hamster.

In addition to being very soft, Carefresh is absorbent and soaks up moisture effectively. It is 2x more absorbent than wood shavings and can lock in odors for up to 10 days.

As most hamster cages require a full clean each, this means Carefresh will prevent your pet’s habitat from smelling too pungent when it’s time to clean it!

Carefresh bedding comes in a variety of colors and varieties, so you can have a lot of fun customizing your hamster’s cage!

The dyes and materials used in Carefresh bedding are pet-safe and non-toxic, so you don’t have to worry about it being unsafe for your hamster!


  • Very soft
  • Good odor control
  • Absorbent
  • Comes in a lot of colors


  • Can be a bit dusty (depending on batch)

Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding For Small Animals

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Vitakraft’s Fresh World Bedding is made from 100% recycled paper that is biodegradable and compostable. The paper used in this bedding is free from dyes, bleach, or nasty chemicals that could be harmful to your hamster.

The bedding expands up to 3 times when it becomes wet. This makes it excellent for absorbing moisture to keep your hamster’s cage smelling fresher for longer.

It is very soft and can hold odors for up to 14 days, making it very effective for controlling bad smells.

This bedding would make perfect burrowing material. Use a generous amount of it in your hamster’s cage so they can dig and build tunnels with it!


  • Biodegradable
  • Effective at odor control and absorption
  • Great for burrowing in
  • Very soft


  • Can be a bit dusty

Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding

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This bedding from Pet Select is made from unbleached and undyed paper. It is additive-free and isn’t made with any harmful chemicals.

The bedding is very soft to make it comfortable on your hamster’s feet. It is also practically dust-free and effective at soaking up moisture.

Small Pet Select bedding is great value for money, so it should last you a fairly long time. It’s also great for your hamster to burrow in!


  • Made from safe unbleached paper
  • Very soft
  • Great absorption
  • Good value


  • Not the best for odor control

Kaytee Aspen Bedding

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Aspen wood shavings are a great bedding for your hamster’s cage. Unlike pine or wood shavings, Aspen wood shavings are perfectly safe for your pet.

Pine or cedar wood shavings can contain harmful chemicals that are dangerous for your hamster’s health. They are also heavily perfumed, which can irritate your pet’s delicate respiratory system.

This is why Aspen is a much safer alternative if your want to use wood shavings in your hamster’s cage. Kaytee Aspen Bedding is a good example of high-quality Aspen wood shavings.

It is made from all-natural Aspen wood that is processed minimally to eliminate as much dust as possible. Zero aromatic oils or inks are used in their bedding, so it won’t cause any harm to your hamster’s health or respiratory system.

Kaytee Aspen Bedding is biodegradable, so it is environmentally-friendly. If you’re going for an all-natural look for your hamster’s cage, Kaytee Aspen Bedding would go nicely.

The bedding makes excellent burrowing material, so make sure you use a generous amount of it in your hamster’s habitat.

It is not as absorbent as other bedding types and may need to be changed a bit more regularly to prevent your hamster’s cage from smelling. Daily spot cleaning (in which you remove dirty bedding each day) can help a lot with odor control.

The price might seem a bit high, but you get a lot bedding for your money! For most hamster cages, this bedding should last you a good few months.


  • Not very dusty
  • Biodegradable
  • Great for burrowing in


  • Not as absorbent as other beddings
  • Bit pricey

Living World Aspen Bedding

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Living World Aspen Bedding is made from 100% heat-treated natural aspen wood that is able to hold up to 4x its weight in liquid.

This makes it very effective at locking in moisture to prevent the risk of fungus, mold, and bacteria growing.

The bedding is biodegradable and effective at controlling odors. It is also hypoallergenic and ideal for hamsters with allergies.

Living World Aspen Bedding is great for burrowing and nesting in. It is relatively soft and able to retain its shape well when your hamster is making a burrow with it.


  • Good absorption
  • Effective odor control
  • Ideal for hamsters with allergies
  • Biodegradable


  • Can be a little dusty

Kaytee Soft Granule Bedding For Pet Cages

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If you’re looking for a highly absorbent and soft bedding for your hamster, the Kaytee Soft Granule Bedding is an excellent choice.

It is made from pet-safe wood fibers that are comfortable on your hamster’s feet and effective at odor control.

The bedding is colorfast and capable of locking in liquid 3x its weight, so it is able to mop up moisture very well.

Kaytee’s Soft Granule Bedding has good odor control to prevent smells building up in your hamster’s cage. It is also 99.9% dust-free and great for burrowing in.

However, as this bedding is made up of very small granules, it can be a bit messy and be easily kicked out in wired cages.


  • Soft material
  • Absorbent
  • Good at odor control
  • Virtually dust-free


  • Can be a bit messy

Sunseed Fresh World Bedding For Small Animals

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Made from 100% recycled paper, the Sunseed Fresh World Bedding is soft, cozy, and able to absorb 3 times its weight in liquids.

No harsh chemicals are used in this bedding. It is also completely biodegradable.

Baking soda is used in the formula to make it effective at odor control and keeping your hamster’s cage smelling clean.

As well as being practically dust-free, this bedding is also great for burrowing and nesting in. The bedding is a bit on the pricey side, but it its great quality more than makes up for this.


  • Soft material
  • Good odor control
  • Practically dust-free
  • Great absorption


  • Bit pricey

Kaytee Clean Cozy White Small Animal Bedding

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To provide your hamster with ultimate comfort, the Kaytee Clean & Cozy Bedding is ideal. It’s made from extremely soft material that is perfect for nesting and playing in!

As well as being very comfortable, this bedding is effective at absorbing moistures and odor control. It is able to lock in liquids up to 2x more than wood shavings can expand 6x its weight in liquid.

The bedding is practically dust-free and would work well for hamsters with allergies. It also makes great burrowing material for your hamster.


  • Soft material
  • Good for locking in moisture
  • 9% dust-free


  • Doesn’t control odors as well as other bedding types

Critter Care Confetti Paper Bedding

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Critter Care’s paper bedding would look lovely in any hamster’s cage. Its vibrant and fun colors are sure to spruce up your hamster’s habitat.

As well as looking great, the bedding is capable of absorbing 3x its weight in liquid to fight bad odors. The formula of the bedding is designed to eliminate the formation of ammonia, which is the main odor in your hamster’s urine.

The dyes used in the bedding are non-toxic and pet-safe. It is also made without cedar or pine oils.

The bedding is extremely soft and comfortable and low in dust.


  • Attractive colors
  • Great for odor control
  • Good at locking in moisture
  • Soft material


  • Can be a bit dusty

RentACoop Hemp Bedding

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RentACoop’s hemp bedding is made without using pesticides or insecticides and is perfectly safe for your hamster.

Hemp bedding is commonly used for horses and chickens but is also a good bedding for hamsters and other small animals.

It is great for locking in odor and moisture to prevent your hamster’s cage from smelling too bad when it’s time to clean it! It’s also not very dusty, making it ideal for hamsters with allergies.

The bedding is completely natural and is biodegradable and compostable. It’s a bit on the pricier side but is well worth the cost due to its high quality!


  • Completely natural
  • Good for controlling odor
  • Locks in liquids well


  • Bit pricey

The Worst Bedding Types For Hamster – What To Avoid

Good bedding for hamsters should be soft, absorbent, and be relatively dust-free. It should also be good at controlling odor.

Here are bedding types that should not be used for your hamster.

  • Fluffy bedding

Fluffy beddings are commonly sold for hamsters on the premise that they are very soft and great for nesting in. However, this type of bedding should never be used for hamsters.

Fluffy beddings can become lodged in your hamster’s cheek pouches and teeth, which can be extremely painful and lead to impaction. If your hamster ends up with impacted cheek pouches, it will often require a trip to the vets.

Your hamster can also get tangled and trapped in fluffy bedding, which can be dangerous. Fluffy bedding can get easily twisted around your hamster’s legs or necks, which can cut off their blood supply and be extremely dangerous.

If swallowed, fluffy beddings can get stuck in your hamster’s digestive tract. This can be fatal.

To eliminate these risks, make sure you never use fluffy bedding in your hamster’s cage.

  • Pine/cedar wood shavings

Another hamster bedding you should not use is wood shavings made from pine or cedar. Aspen wood shavings are perfectly safe for hamsters, but pine of cedar wood shavings can be harmful.

Pine and cedar wood shavings often contain chemicals that are harmful for your hamster. They are also heavily scented.

The strong smells in pine and cedar wood shavings, especially when wet, can irritate and damage your hamster’s respiratory system.

If you want to use wood shavings as a substrate in your hamster’s cage, opt for aspen wood shavings as it is much safer. You can find aspen wood shavings online or in the reptile department in most pet stores.

  • Cat litter

Cat litter should not be used for hamsters. Cat litter can cause internal blockages if swallowed and is typically very dusty.

A lot of cat litters are scented, and this can cause respiratory distress in hamsters.

If you are looking for a litter to use for your hamster’s litter box, then paper-based ones are usually fine. However, make sure they don’t contain any harmful ingredients and are safe for small animals.

Hard paper-based pellets should not be used as the main bedding in your hamster’s cage as they are uncomfortable and difficult to burrow in.

You should only use them in your hamster’s litter box or to go underneath soft bedding in your hamster’s cage.

Related Questions:

How often do I need to clean my hamster’s cage? You should aim to do a full clean of your hamster’s cage every week. Daily spot cleaning is also recommended.

Can I use fluffy bedding for my hamster? Fluffy bedding should never be used for hamsters as it can get stuck in your pet’s cheek pouches, teeth, and digestive tract. It can also get wrapped around their legs or neck, which can be fatal.

Can hamsters be litter trained? Yes, hamsters can be litter trained. Find the area your hamster urinates in and place a litter box there to encourage them to use it.

Charlotte lives in the United Kingdom and has worked in animal shelters looking after small animals. She owns a hamster as well as a dog and a cat and hopes to spread her knowledge about rodents to help other pet owners.
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