Now that you’re here, we can assume you’re looking for the perfect hedgehog bedding. It can be confusing because as some materials are better and safer for your hedgie than others. Hedgehogs can live 4 to 7 years with proper care, and one important aspect of their well-being is their bedding has to provide a fresh, clean environment in their cages.
A basic rule for hedgehog bedding is to ensure it is absorbent and safe, and in this post, we’ll list our top 10 picks of the best hedgehog bedding based on reviews to help you narrow down your search. We’ve also listed a buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for and what to avoid. Let’s check them out.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Kaytee Clean & Cozy Bedding||
|Best Value||Sweet Meadow Farm Straw Bedding||
|Premium Choice||back-2-nature Bedding||
|Oxbow Pure Comfort Bedding||
|Hall's Hay Wheat Straw Mini-Bale Bedding||
The 10 Best Beddings for Hedgehogs
1. Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding – Best Overall
Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding does an excellent job of absorbing odors and liquid, expanding 3 times its size. The cardboard and paper material is FDA-approved and unscented. It can absorb six times its weight in liquid, making cleaning up easier for you. This material offers soft and plush bedding for your hedgie to burrow, and it contains no harsh chemicals; it is also 99.9% dust-free. The bag comes in 24.6 I/L, 49.2 I/L, 85 I/L, and also a 49.2 I/L bundle or 85 I/L bundle.
Some users reported finding bugs crawling in the material, and some complain of an odor in the bag. However, this is a natural material and given the affordable price, softness, and absorption, this product is the best overall hedgehog bedding.
2. Sweet Meadow Farm Straw Small Pet Bedding – Best Value
|Special Feature:||Dust-free, eco-friendly, organic, natural|
Sweet Meadow Farm Straw Small Pet Bedding is straw bedding for hedgehogs, gerbils, hamsters, and other small animals. It is dust-free, eco-friendly, organic, and natural. The straw is soft, providing your hedgehog with the utmost comfort for relaxing and sleeping—it also provides adequate insulation to keep your little friend warm.
The straw is pesticide-free, so if your hedgie wants a little nibble of the straw, it’s perfectly safe to let him try some of this high-fiber snack. A drawback is that straw can be messy, and some consumers claim the straw is dusty despite its marketing claims. However, it comes in a 15-ounce bag at an affordable price, making our pick for the best bedding for hedgehogs for the money.
3. back-2-nature Small Animal Bedding – Premium Choice
|Special Feature:||Odor control|
back-2-nature Small Animal Bedding is a naturally absorbent, biodegradable bedding with odor control. It’s made with lightweight 99% recycled paper and contains no harmful chemicals or additives. It also offers natural odor control, reduces tracking, and is practically dust-free. The crinkled paper pellets absorb moisture rather than sitting on top of the bedding, keeping your hedgie’s cage dry. The pellets stay put while your hedgie roams around, and it’s suitable for other small animals, such as ferrets, rabbits, birds, and reptiles.
However, the bag only comes in 30 I/L and is fairly expensive for the size.
4. Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding
|Special Feature:||Exceptional odor control|
If you’re looking for veterinary-approved, super absorbent bedding with odor control, Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding may be an excellent choice for you. This bedding is made from 100% pure, never-printed paper, offering outstanding hygiene for your hedgie. This super absorbent bedding is capable of absorbing 800% of its weight in liquid, and it’s 99.9% dust-free.
You can buy this bag in 36 I/L, 73 I/L, and 144 I/L bags. The bags don’t occupy much room in your home because the material expands more than 250% in volume. The paper is soft, and you only need 1–3 inches of layering in the cage. Some consumers claim the paper is not as soft as advertised, and small animals can track it throughout the home.
5. Hall’s Hay Wheat Straw Mini-Bale Small Pet Bedding
Hall’s Hay Wheat Straw Mini-Bale Small Pet Bedding is made from all-natural, sun-cured wheat derived from premium field bales. It contains no preservatives, and its low-density flakes and fluffs easily when added to your hedgehog’s cage and when your hedgie burrows. It provides nice insulation and absorption for your hedgie, and it’s grown and packaged in the USA in 4-pound boxes.
The only downfall is some customers claimed the product was messy. Other than that, this product does its job and provides excellent bedding for your hedgie.
6. Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Litter Box & Cage Small Animal Bedding
|Special Feature:||Long-lasting odor control|
Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Litter Box & Cage Small Animal Bedding is long-lasting, offering up to 14 hours of odor control. It’s made from 100% recycled paper and has a soft texture, making it perfect and comfy for sleeping, playing, and burrowing. The paper material is biodegradable and compostable, and it expands three times its size, which offers excellent absorption. It’s 99.5% dust-free with no added baking soda and comes packaged in a 16 I/L or 35 I/L bag.
This product tends to produce more dust than other bedding, and it can also be messy to handle.
7. Carefresh Small Animal Bedding
Carefresh Small Animal Bedding is made from “comfy fluff,” a natural reclaimed paper fiber that is biodegradable and compostable, making it pleasantly eco-friendly. It provides up to 10 days of odor control, and the natural reclaimed paper is two times more absorbent than wood shavings (avoid wood shavings due to possible choking hazards). This product is highly absorbent and soft for your hedgie to burrow comfortably. It’s 99% dust-free and is suitable for many small animals in addition to hedgehogs, including sugar gliders, rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, chinchillas, and more.
The bedding may have a bad chemical smell, and it may be too dusty for some critters. Ensure you watch out for respiratory issues while using this product.
8. Brown’s Naturally Fresh! Aspen Small Animal & Bird Bedding
Brown’s Naturally Fresh! Aspen Small Animal & Bird Bedding uses kiln-dried hardwood aspen for a fresh and natural bedding substrate that’s free from aromatic oils. It’s biodegradable and compostable, odorless, and highly absorbent. It provides coziness and warmth for your hedgie, and the material is cleaned and filtered during the manufacturing process to keep dust and debris to a minimum. It’s also safe enough to use for bird bedding to add warmth for our feathered friends.
It only comes in a 24 I/L bag and is a little more expensive than the competition, especially for the size of the bag the manufacturer offers. The material may also be hard and dry.
9. ECO BEDDING FiberCore Natural
ECO BEDDING FiberCore Natural is unscented and offers your hedgie eco-friendly bedding substrate. It’s made from 100% recycled stock paper and is highly absorbent and dust-free. It’s soft and dry, and with its high absorbent quality, your hedgie will stay dry, warm, and cozy. This bedding substrate allows you to spot clean, which leaves you changing the bedding every 2–3 days. The manufacturer uses a patented process of cutting and folding paper strips for a unique bedding material. It stays fluffy, and the crinkled paper entices natural foraging, burrowing, and nesting for your hedgie.
It also comes in a 4.5-pound bag at a competitive price. A drawback is it may be messy and not quite as absorbent as you’d like, meaning you’ll need to replace the substrate more than every 2–3 days.
10. Fresh News Recycled Paper Small Animal Bedding
|Special Feature:||Easy pour bag, eco-friendly|
Fresh News Recycled Paper Small Animal Bedding is hypoallergenic, clean, soft, and dust-free. It’s made from 100% recycled paper to make it eco-friendly, and it uses a moisture-locking formula for high absorbency and odor control. The bag makes pouring the bedding into the cage easy, with no need to break up a bale.
Some consumers complain that the bedding was too dusty to use despite the dust-free claim. Other claims complain of the product being messy to use and clean up.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Pick the Best Bedding for Your Hedgehog
Before you decide on a bedding, there are a few important factors to consider before making a purchase. Knowing the type of material that is safe to use is vital for your hedgehog’s care and health. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll list the different types of materials available and materials to stay away from.
Safe Bedding Materials
Recycled paper and pellets are better for the environment and safer for your hedgie’s burrowing, foraging, and nesting needs. Hedgehogs love to burrow in their cages, and recycled paper or pellets will not harm your hedgie when he goes exploring. You can use newspaper, but the only downfall with newspaper is it may not be as absorbent as other materials—but paper, in general, is excellent in providing soft bedding for your hedgie.
Aspen shavings are fine in texture and provide a safer alternative to wood shavings. Aspen hardwood shavings are more hypoallergenic and highly absorbent with good odor control. It’s made from kiln-dried hardwood and is typically unscented. Keep in mind that any type of shavings may emit more dust.
You can use old towels and blankets if in a pinch; just be sure to change them out as they get soiled to keep the cage clean. Make sure the towels or blankets don’t have loose strings where your hedgie’s legs and feet can get tangled in the material.
A little debate is involved with using pine shavings, as they do contain abietic acid when not heat-cured. This acid is not toxic, but it’s not ideal either. If you use pine shavings, they must be kiln-dried. Ensure that the pine is not treated as well.
Wheat straw is highly absorbent and does a nice job of insulating the cage. It’s also fluffy for burrowing, dust-free, and does well for odor control.
Bedding Materials to Avoid
Cedar shavings can irritate your hedgehog’s eyes and respiratory system. Cedar shavings also contain a toxin called plicatic acid and other hydrocarbon and phenol elements that are hazardous to your hedgie’s health. Exposing your hedgehog to cedar shavings can cause liver problems and may cause your little friend to develop cancer. In short, avoid cedar shavings at all costs.
Wood shavings can emit a lot of dust, and they can also pose a choking hazard if your hedgie decides to munch on some. Ingesting wood shavings can also potentially cause gastrointestinal blockage, which can be fatal for your hedgie.
Clay or Clumping Litter
These types of litter can stick to your hedgie, including its delicate areas. Clay or clumping litter can also be extremely dusty, which is not recommended due to your hedgie potentially developing a respiratory illness.
What to Look for in Hedgehog Bedding
Absorbency is an important element to look for in bedding. You want your hedgie to stay comfy and dry, not soiled with his own waste. Look for bedding with high absorbency to soak up urine; typically, shredded paper is a poor choice for absorbency, while aspen shavings do a better job of absorbing liquid.
Nobody wants to smell a stinky hedgehog cage, making odor control a must. Ensure the package states if it has an odor-neutralizing element, such as a moisture-locking formula. Also, the higher the absorbency and less dust, the fewer odors the cage will have.
It’s best to provide your hedgie with soft and fluffy bedding substrate rather than hard. You want your hedgie comfy, especially when he burrows. Recycled paper is a good choice for softness.
We hope our reviews of the top ten best bedding for hedgehogs were informative and will help you make the best decision for your hedgie.
For the best overall choice, Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding absorbs liquids and odors, is 99.9% dust-free, and is FDA-approved. For the best value, Sweet Meadow Farm Straw Small Pet Bedding is eco-friendly, organic, and provides a soft texture.
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Featured Image Credit: n0uur, Shutterstock