The Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs (February 2023 Reviews)

The best bedding for guinea pigs

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

The main pitch by mattress companies is that you spend a large percentage of your life sleeping, so your mattress should be a considered purchase. The same is true of bedding for your guinea pig.

Your guinea pig’s bedding is where they’ll rest and recharge, spend a significant portion of their day, and in some cases where they’ll go to the bathroom.

Choosing the right bedding for a guinea pig is particularly difficult because there are a number of different materials people use for guinea pig bedding, and choosing the wrong material can result in a number of issues including:

  • Non-absorbant material not sopping up urine
  • UTI infections in guinea pigs
  • Injuries to a guinea pig’s soft foot pads
  • Some bedding can contain chemicals that cause respiratory illness or liver disease in guinea pigs.

For those reasons, we’ve spent time and care testing and reviewing potential guinea pig bedding options. Here is our top overall pick:

What is the Best Bedding for a Guinea Pig?

The best bedding for a guinea pig is our top pick the Kaytee Clean & Cozy.

Our Top Pick

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Bedding

Soft, absorbant pet paper bedding for guinea pigs.

While that’s our top pick there are a lot of considerations when choosing the best bedding for your guinea pig, so in this post, we’ll also walk through the different types of bedding materials, their strengths, and weaknesses, and we’ve also selected not only the best overall choice for bedding, but for a number of specific use cases.

The Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs

  1. Best OverallKaytee Clean & Cozy
  2. Best BudgetCarefresh Small Pet Bedding
  3. Best FleeceGuineaDad Liner
  4. Best AspenSmall Pet Select Premium Natural Aspen Bedding

Buying Guide: Find the Right Bedding for Your Guinea Pig

Do guinea pigs need bedding?

Bedding is an integral part of enriching your guinea pig’s life.

It also helps to avoid the wet-bottom phenomenon that can occur when the bottoms of your guinea pig’s cage are soaked with urine.

The best type of bedding will absorb moisture right away. In addition, good bedding will be reusable, so you will not have to replace it frequently.

What types of bedding are there?

Paper-based bedding is the most common type of guinea pig bedding. It’s super soft and easy to clean.

Fleece is another option for guinea pig bedding. It’s popular because it’s absorbent and reusable.

Pine bedding is another option. This type of bedding is typically less expensive than aspen wood shavings. However, it can create a smell similar to a pine forest.

Aspen wood shavings are an alternative to pine but are much harder to find. Aspen shavings are a natural, non-toxic material that won’t produce a noxious smell.

Vitakraft Fresh World Bedding is another eco-friendly option. It’s made from 100% recycled paper and designed to absorb moisture quickly.

Rabbit Hole Hay Ultra-Premium Food Grade Paper Small Animal Bedding is a soft, super absorbent, and dust-free alternative.

Pine pellets are an eco-friendly option that is also very absorbent. They’re dense and last long before they run out of absorbency.

What is the best bedding for odor control?

Paper bedding is an excellent choice for odor control. This material is soft and absorbent and is made from recycled paper.

It is a very durable material that is also biodegradable.

Another option is to use an eco-friendly pelleted wheat straw.

This material can be composted and reduce the odor of your guinea pig’s habitat.

If you’re looking for bedding for your guinea pig, you’ll be happy to know that several different types of bedding are available. Each of these has its advantages and disadvantages.

Disposable vs. washable bedding

Choosing between disposable vs. washable bedding for Guinea Pigs can be challenging. Guinea pigs need soft bedding that is safe, absorbent, and easy to clean.

There are many different types of bedding available for guinea pigs, but the three most common are paper, fabric, and fleece.

These three bedding options offer excellent odor control and a variety of colors and patterns to choose from.

Fleece liners are the most popular choice. They are durable, reversible, incredibly soft on the skin, and are usually designed to fit standard guinea pig cages.

Another option is to use aspen wood shavings, which are disposable.

These are soft and safe for small pets but more expensive than reusable bedding.

Can hay be used as bedding?

While hay is an excellent option for guinea pigs, there are better options than hay. It can be expensive.

Another downside is that it can be challenging to clean. The soiled material needs to be removed from the cage regularly.

That can lead to an extra mess.

Wood shavings are a popular alternative for guinea pigs. However, the drawback is that they may cause respiratory problems.

In addition, sawdust is dusty and may trigger a reaction in guinea pigs.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive option, try using pine shavings. These are cheaper than hay, but they need good odor-control properties.

They’re also full of volatile oils that can harm a pig’s health.

How often should bedding be changed?

Changing guinea pig bedding is one of the essential parts of care. Not only does it keep the cavy’s home clean and comfortable, but it also reduces the risk of illness.

Depending on your guinea pig’s needs and habits, you may need to change the litter more often.

Some factors that can affect this are the number of guinea pigs, their diet, and the size of the cage they’re living in.

Changing your guinea pig’s bedding is an essential part of their care. It can help keep your pet comfy while also keeping your cage clean.

Changing your cavy’s bedding at least once a week is best.

Bedding to avoid

Bedding for guinea pigs should be soft and clean, without the use of chemicals. If you choose to use a product containing chemicals, it will harm your pet.

Bedding for guinea animals should also be odor free. The smell of urine in the cage is a common occurrence. If you have a stale, odor-filled cage, your guinea pig could develop respiratory problems.

Some owners like to use shredded cardboard in their piggies’ cages. However, this material is often contaminated with chemicals, which can be dangerous if ingested by the pigs.

It would help if you did not use sawdust, which contains dust. It can cause respiratory problems.

Newspaper can be used as bedding, but it should be free of large amounts of ink. It can also be smelly, so it is best to use only limited quantities.

The Best Guinea Pig Bedding Reviews

1. Best Overall – Kaytee Clean & Cozy

Our Top Pick

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Bedding

Soft, absorbant pet paper bedding for guinea pigs.

Kaytee Clean & Cozy small animal bedding is the real deal. It contains ingredients that are both safe and effective. It is also made from a remarkably durable material, making it the ideal bedding for many of today’s pets. The best part is that it is easy to clean.

In addition, it can absorb its weight six times in water, which means that it can last for a long time without having to be changed often.

Unlike many of its competitors, Kaytee can keep its odor under control.

Pros
  • Made from recycled paper materials, making it a sustainable and eco-friendly choice.
  • Non-toxic, so it is safe for animals and humans to use.
  • Absorbent, helping to keep your pet’s cage or enclosure clean and dry.
  • Dust free, reducing the risk of respiratory issues in pets.
  • Hypoallergenic, ideal for animals with allergies or sensitive skin.
  • Odor controlling properties help reduce unpleasant smells in the home.
Cons
  • Expensive compared to other brands of bedding on the market.
  • Can be difficult to find in stores, so you may need to shop online.
  • Not suitable for animals that like to burrow or dig, as it won’t hold up very well.
  • May need to be replaced more often than other bedding options due to the lower durability.
  • Not recommended for use with guinea pigs and other small rodents that are prone to respiratory issues.
  • Can become stained quickly if not cleaned regularly.

2. Best Budget – Carefresh Small Pet Bedding

Best Budget

Carefresh Small Pet Bedding

Affordable soft, odor absorbent paper fiber bedding.

Carefresh Small Pet Bedding is the perfect choice for budget-savvy guinea pig owners.

It offers excellent absorbency and odor control without breaking the bank, making it a great value. The bedding also contains natural fibers to help keep your pet’s environment as healthy as possible.

In addition, Carefresh is dust-free and hypoallergenic, ensuring your guinea pig stays clean and comfortable.

One potential drawback to consider is that Carefresh may not be suitable for pets with sensitive skin since it is made from recycled paper fibers.

Nonetheless, it is still a great choice for those seeking an affordable yet reliable bedding option.

Pros
  • Highly absorbent, capable of controlling odors for up to 10 days.
  • 99% dust-free, making it ideal for pets with allergies.
  • Hypoallergenic and made from natural wood fibers.
  • Soft texture that is comfortable for your pet’s skin and coat.
  • Available in multiple colors to suit any pet’s needs.
Cons
  • More expensive than other bedding options on the market.
  • Might be too soft for some animals that like firmer substrates.
  • Not suitable as a litter box substrate due to its absorbency properties.
  • Not biodegradable and must be disposed of in the trash.
  • Can be messy when first opened, as some pieces may break apart easily.

3. Best Fleece –  GuineaDad Liner

Best Fleece

GuineaDad Liner

Absorbent, dust-free, and waterproof liner.

Whether you need a new liner for your guinea pig cage or you are just looking for a quality fleece liner, the GuineaDad Liner is the ultimate choice. It’s absorbent, dust free, and waterproof.

The fleece liner is also easy to clean. Just spot-clean it daily, and then wash it once a week.

You may notice some shrinking during the first couple of days, but the liner should return to its original size after a few washes.

GuineaDad cage liners are made of a soft, waterproof, fleece-covered layer of bamboo fibers. The fibers have mixed anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, so you can use them to keep your guinea pigs healthy.

Pros
  • Highly absorbent, holding 3x its weight in liquid.
  • Antibacterial material prevents the growth of bacteria and mold.
  • Non-toxic, and safe for pets and humans.
  • Free of dust, dander, and other allergens.
  • Crush resistant; will not break down over time.
  • Low maintenance; just rinse in cold water to clean.
  • Waterproof backing helps prevent leaks on furniture or floors.
Cons
  • Not suitable for high-level chewers as it can be ripped apart easily.
  • Can be messy when cleaned by rinsing as the pieces may separate and get scattered around.
  • Not biodegradable; must be disposed of in the trash.
  • Can be costly for larger cages or multiple pet households.
  • May need to be replaced more frequently than other bedding materials due to wear and tear.

4. Best Aspen – Small Pet Select Premium Natural Aspen Bedding

Best Aspen

Small Pet Select Premium Natural Aspen Bedding

All-natural, heat-treated, kiln-dried aspen shavings.

Whether you own a hamster, rabbit, or guinea pig, Small Pet Select Premium Natural Aspen Bedding is the best choice for your pet. It is made from all-natural, heat-treated, kiln-dried aspen shavings and is safe for small animals.

Unlike fleece or other types of bedding, aspen shavings are easy to clean. They are also dust-free, non-toxic, a great alternative to paper bedding, and recyclable.

This bedding is soft and absorbent, which makes it ideal for a guinea pig. In addition, it is soft and gentle on your guinea pig’s skin, making it perfect for sensitive pets.

This bedding is 99% dust free. It is also eco-friendly, biodegradable, and safe for your pet.

Pros
  • Made from natural, kiln-dried timber for a safe and comfortable sleeping environment.
  • Absorbs 3-4x more liquid than wood shavings, making clean up simpler and quicker.
  • 100% dust-free formula prevents respiratory issues in small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs.
  • Environmentally friendly product is biodegradable and compostable for an eco-friendly solution to bedding material disposal.
  • Jumbo-size packaging contains 10% more material than conventional bedding bags for greater value on each purchase.
Cons
  • A high price point may not be suitable for those on a budget or those with multiple small pets.
  • Not suitable for large animals such as ferrets, rats or chinchillas due to size of bedding pieces.
  • Bedding may be too thick and dense for some small animals requiring a fluffier sleeping environment.
  • May have an unpleasant odor upon opening the packaging that may linger in the living space until it is aired out or disposed of properly.
  • Although dust-free, there can sometimes be particles in the air from breaking up or pouring the bedding into a container, which could cause respiratory issues if inhaled by humans or pets alike.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best bedding for a guinea pig?

The best bedding for a guinea pig is a soft, absorbent material that is safe for them to use. Some options include shredded paper, aspen shavings, or specially-made guinea pig bedding. Avoid using materials like cedar shavings or pine shavings, as they can be harmful to guinea pigs.

What can I use instead of guinea pig bedding?

If you don’t have access to guinea pig bedding, you can use a soft, absorbent material like shredded paper or aspen shavings. Avoid using materials like cedar shavings or pine shavings, as they can be harmful to guinea pigs.

How often should you change the bedding in a guinea pig cage?

You should change the bedding in a guinea pig cage at least once a week. This will help keep the cage clean and prevent your guinea pig from getting sick. It’s also a good idea to clean the cage thoroughly every few months to remove any build-up of dirt or bacteria.

What can you substitute for guinea pig bedding?

If you don’t have access to guinea pig bedding, you can use a soft, absorbent material like shredded paper or aspen shavings. Avoid using materials like cedar shavings or pine shavings, as they can be harmful to guinea pigs.

Can you use a regular fleece blanket for guinea pig bedding?

While a regular fleece blanket may be soft and comfortable for your guinea pig, it is not a good choice for bedding. Fleece blankets can be difficult to clean and can hold onto odors, which can be unhygienic for your guinea pig. It’s best to use a bedding material specifically designed for guinea pigs.

Where can I buy cheap guinea pig bedding?

You can find cheap guinea pig bedding at many pet stores, or you can buy it online. Some options include shredded paper, aspen shavings, or specially-made guinea pig bedding. Be sure to check the product reviews to make sure you’re getting good quality bedding at a reasonable price.

How much does guinea pig bedding cost?

The cost of guinea pig bedding can vary depending on the type and quantity you buy. Some options, like shredded paper or aspen shavings, can be relatively inexpensive. Specialty guinea pig bedding can be more expensive, but it may be worth the investment for added convenience and peace of mind.

Can I use a towel as bedding for my guinea pig?

While a towel may be soft and comfortable for your guinea pig, it is not a good choice for bedding. Towels are not very absorbent and can become dirty quickly, which can be unhygienic for your guinea pig. It’s best to use a bedding material specifically designed for guinea pigs.

Additional Sources & Resources

We also have a number of other guides related to guinea pigs, including:

And additional external sources and resources if you’re looking to learn more about guinea pig bedding:

  • “Guinea Pig Bedding: How To Choose The Right Type For Your Pet” by Dr. Joanna de Klerk, DVM. https://www.petmd.com/guinea-pig/evr_gp_bedding_choose_right
  • “Basic Care: Bedding” by The Humane Society of the United States. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/basic-care-bedding
  • “Bedding for Guinea Pigs” by Oxbow Animal Health. https://www.oxbowanimalhealth.com/blog/bedding-for-guinea-pigs

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.