Best Hamster Bedding Types: Why is Good Bedding Important? Safe And Unsafe Types Guide!

Hamster bedding is an important consideration when owning a pet hamster. The type of bedding that you choose will determine the quality of your pet’s life for years to come.

Hamsters are a popular pet choice because they’re adorable, fun to watch, and easy to care for. But there is one thing that can be tricky for hamster owners: picking out the right type of bedding material.

There are many different types on the market so it’s important to know what you need before purchasing. This blog post will cover all your options with an in-depth analysis of each type so you can decide which is best for your furry friend!

How do I pick out the best bedding? What should my first consideration be?
This article will discuss what factors into this decision process and how to narrow down on the perfect type of bedding material for your hamster.

Why Is Good Bedding Important For Hamsters?

There are many reasons why hamster owners should invest time in finding the best bedding for their furry friends.

  • Ensures Good Quality Life: The first, and most important reason to find good bedding is so your pet can have an enjoyable life with little health problems caused by poor environmental conditions.
  • Prevents Health Issues: A lot of small animals like hamsters may suffer from respiratory issues due to bad air quality which could be easily avoided if you choose a safe and practical type of bedding material.
  • Saves Maintenance Time: Another reason to be detail-oriented when it comes to choosing a good type of bedding for your hamster is that you’re going to spend a lot of time cleaning and maintaining the pet’s habitat.

If you choose a poor quality material that doesn’t absorb moisture well this may result in an increased risk of skin infections caused by contact with excessive dampness or mold growth due to poor air circulation.

  • Eliminates Odors: In addition, having an unpleasant odor emanating from the cage can cause stress levels in small animals like hamsters which could lead them to become anti-social towards owners they once loved the attention from! Bad odors are also extremely difficult to remove if not impossible without safe products designed specifically for use around pets.

Not only does bad odor cause stress and irritation to the pet, but it can be a huge inconvenience for you as well because let’s face it: nobody wants to come home from work every day to an unpleasant smell in their living space!

If you think about it: there’s no point buying a cute animal only to neglect his habitat! The way we treat our pets reflects on us as people; they’re dependent on us for everything after all!

How To Choose The Best Bedding Material For Your Hamster

So, now that you know why good hamster bedding is important it’s time to learn how to choose the best type for your furry friend. I want you to make an informed choice after all! So here goes:

The three main considerations when choosing new bedding are:

  • Safety of your hamster: A big concern when choosing a hamster bedding material is the safety of your pet. It’s important to know what types of materials are dangerous and which ones you can trust with your beloved hamster.

Few bedding materials can have sharp edges once soiled by pets over time causing injury on contact with them while they move around the cage cleaning themselves. Many times this material is difficult to clean making it a low-quality choice for hamsters.

Few materials are Ingestion hazards caused by small pieces that may break off over time due to chewing/gnawing on cage wire bars.Few Bedding materials can catch fire if placed near an open flame source such as heating vents, candles, etc.

  • Health of your hamster: The health of your hamster is another very important factor to consider when choosing a bedding material.

There are a lot of common types of beddings that are not good for the pet’s respiratory system and could cause irritation or worse, pneumonia.Few Beddings contain chemicals such as phenols which can be irritating to humans and harmful if ingested by small animals like hamsters.

Few beddings may release aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) into the air as they break down in extremely harmful cage conditions.

  • Suitability For The Environment You Have Available At Home: The last, but equally important factor to consider is if the bedding you choose will be suitable for your environment at home.

Finding an appropriate choice for your household whether it’s easy to access bedding or something more practical depending on your lifestyle makes all the difference in quality care from start to finish.

Different bedding types are more practical for certain households. The best type of hamster bedding may not be the most convenient to use if you live in an apartment with no place to store it or have limited floor space.

Best Bedding Types For Hamsters

The Best types of beddings for your hamster are those which are practical, safe, and affordable. The best choice should be easy to clean & maintain while being hygienic to use without harming the environment or health of you or your pet.

Paper Based Bedding:

Picking paper as the primary material may not be what most people would consider their first option but hear me out on this one before making up your mind about its suitability.

Paper-Based Bedding is an excellent choice for hamsters, especially in the long term. It’s easy to clean, highly absorbent, and safe for your pet without causing any health issues or irritation.

Best of all it does not contain chemicals that can be harmful when ingested over time like other common types of bedding such as wood shavings do.

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Furthermore, this type of material is a recycled product so you’re doing a great deed by choosing something eco-friendly!This type of hamster bedding can be used to line the cage floor; it absorbs odors very well but needs frequent replacement.

It doesn’t tend to stick much unlike wood shavings which will make clean up easy! Best part? It costs next to nothing which makes this an affordable choice for pet owners on almost any budget.

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Pro Tip: You can even go in for colorful paper Beddings. They are not harmful to your hamsters as long as you make sure that the colorants used are hamsters safe. Just spend a little time checking out the description on the package.

Soft Granule Beddings:

This is another type of hamster bedding that has gained popularity over the past few years. Best part? It is completely safe for your pet without causing any harm to their respiratory system or skin irritation which makes it an excellent choice for long-term use.

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Soft Granule Bedding is made from natural wood pulp fibers and is processed with negative ions during manufacturing making this one of the best types of beddings you can choose.
Soft granules have no dust particles & absorb odors very well too!

However, they tend to be a bit messy so keep that in mind when choosing them as your primary material. This type of hamster bedding can be used to line the cage floor; it absorbs odors very well but needs frequent replacement.

It doesn’t tend to stick much unlike wood shavings which will make clean up easy! Best part? It costs next to nothing which makes this an affordable choice for pet owners on almost any budget.

Pro Tip: Avoid brands with harsh chemicals such as phenols or aromatics hydrocarbons in them because these harmful substances may irritate your pet’s respiratory system over time leading to serious medical conditions like pneumonia among other things.

Aspen Shavings:

Aspen is one of the Best Types Of Hamster Bedding if wood shavings are used as hamster bedding. It’s completely safe for your pet without causing any harm to their respiratory system or skin irritation which makes it an excellent choice for long-term use.

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They’re extremely absorbent, inexpensive, and safe for your pet too!This type of bedding is made from wood pulp fibers which have been steamed to increase their sponginess & processed with negative ions during manufacturing making this one of the best types of Bedding you can choose.

This type of material has little chance of clumping up thanks to its absorbent qualities. It doesn’t tend to stick much unlike other types such as soft granules which will make clean up even easier and more convenient too!

Hemp Shavings: Best Types Of Hamster Bedding

Hemp Shavings are made from the waste of hemp plant processing. This type of material is completely safe for your pet without causing any harm to their respiratory system or skin irritation which makes it an excellent choice for long-term use.

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They don’t promote bacterial growth due to their antimicrobial properties so this bedding helps keep your hamsters’ cage environment much cleaner & safer than other types.

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Alternative Hamster Beddings

Paper Pellets:

Paper Pellets can be used as one of the alternatives for hamster bedding in case any one of the main types that I mentioned above are not available or accessible. Paper pellets are not very suitable or soft for your hamsters, but they can be used in emergencies as hamster bedding. They are safe to use.

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Aspen Pellets:

Aspen pallets are nothing but aspen compressed into pellet form. They are hard in structure and do not provide a lot of scopes for your hamster to burrow inside them.

However, if the situation demands and any of the main varieties of hamster beddings are not available then aspen pellets can be used as a suitable safe alternative.

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Shredded Toilet Paper:

Shredded toilet paper can also be used as a safe alternative when any of the main hamster bedding varieties are not available.

However, you have to keep in mind that shredded toilet paper or towels cannot keep the odors down. So spot cleaning becomes an everyday requirement if you use these as your hamster bedding.

Pro Tip: A lot of people use shredded newspaper as hamster bedding. Though it is a common practice I would still strongly advise against it because newspaper contains ink which can be very toxic to your hamsters. Unless you can ensure that the ink on your newspaper is soya Inc, please do not risk using shredded newspaper as a substrate for your hamsters.

Safe Beddings You Can Use In Small Sections Of The Cage

Next, let’s take a look at the different types of hamster bedding that can be used in small sections or parts. These are not necessarily suitable as your main substrate, but they work well for corners and specific areas if you have enough space left over.


Sand is an excellent choice for hamsters to add a little bit of variety to your hamster cage. It doesn’t cost much so it’s affordable. You can buy varieties such as chinchilla bath sand or even opt for regular children’s play sand.

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But in case you opt-in for children’s Play sand ensure that you sanitize it completely by baking it in the oven, at a high temperature.

You can use it as a mixture along with other types of bedding like paper and soft granules. This way it is resulting in perfect conditions for your pet while making things easier on yourself too!

If you do choose sand make sure that it’s not fine dust, which can be harmful to your hamsters.

Eco Earth

Eco Earth is made from coconut coir fiber & it’s completely safe for your pet without causing any harm to their respiratory system or skin irritation which makes it an excellent choice for long-term use.

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It absorbs liquids well and also fights bacterial growth, promoting a healthier environment in the cage. This type of bedding holds together extremely well too. So you don’t have to worry about anything sticking around making clean up much easier than other types.


Timothy Hay or other locally grown safe forage grasses can be found at many farm & garden supply stores along with some larger grocery chains.This type of hamster bedding is also very inexpensive making this an affordable choice as well!

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The best part? It helps promote healthy tooth wear since they use their teeth to gnaw on the hay while moving through these materials naturally throughout the day just like they would do in nature by grazing on fresh green plants and shrubs.

Timothy hay cubes tend to last longer than paper-based litter but still need frequent replacement.

Unsafe Hamster Beddings

Pine Shavings

Avoid using pine shavings as these materials contain naturally occurring chemicals that are toxic to small animals like hamsters.

These chemicals can seep into their skin causing irritation that leads to itching and scratching on your part! This will eventually lead up to infection inside cages and also cause serious diseases such as cancer.

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Pine shavings are also known to cause respiratory problems in small furry animals like hamsters. Avoid using these materials for bedding because it can irritate your pet’s lungs, especially when they breathe in the dust particles that tend to fly into the air while cleaning out their cage!

This leads them towards a much shorter lifespan than expected after having been exposed to harmful chemicals all day long every single day of their lives.So be very careful about what you choose as your hamster bedding material & always opt for safe ones such as aspen or paper which is not only affordable but extremely healthy too.

Cedar Shavings

Like pine shavings, cedar contains certain naturally occurring chemicals which are extremely harmful to small animals like hamsters.

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It can cause skin irritation and even respiratory problems for your furry friends. So avoid using these types of bedding materials altogether or risk having a sickly pet that doesn’t live very long at all!This leads them towards respiratory changes which can eventually lead up to asthma!

Scented Beddings

Avoid using scented bedding materials because these contain harmful chemicals which can cause serious damage to your hamster’s respiratory system.

These types of fragrances are usually added to mask other bad odors while keeping the cage smelling fresh but oftentimes they lead up towards cases where pets have become ill or even worse died!

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Living day in and day out on scented beddings can have a very harmful effect on your hamster. Hamsters are very sensitive to smell and the strong fragrances or perfumes that are used in scented beddings can have a very harmful effect on your hamster’s body.

They also contain certain additives that irritate skin and other sensitive parts too so it’s best not to use them at all just stick with unscented varieties instead for better health & wellness.

Corn Cob Beddings

Corn cob beddings are not great for your hamster. The small pieces of corn cobs can cause harm to the eyes and mouth if swallowed by mistake.

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Corncobs should never be used as hamster bedding mainly because of their easy tendency to encourage fungus or mold growth. If there is any water spillage in your hamster cage or whenever your hamster takes a Pee and the corncob gets wet, it tends to very quickly get converted into a hotbed for fungal activity and mold.

Corn cob beddings are also pretty hard by nature and they do not provide any sort of comfort to your hamsters.

Wrapping Up

To ensure the safety and comfort of your hamster, it is very important to know what types of bedding are safe for them and which should be avoided.There are many varieties on the market that claim they’re safe but some may not actually be–and others might even cause harm!

That’s why I composed the above list of all the different types available along with their pros and cons so you can make an informed decision about what type to choose for your pet.

Stick to safer varieties like Carefresh or paper-based ones rather than natural materials like pine shavings (which could lead to respiratory issues) or corn cobs.

Remember these guidelines when buying new bedding to avoid any accidents while providing comfort for your little friend.



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