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10 Best Beddings for Hedgehogs 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

Nicole Cosgrove

Carefresh Shavings PlusHedgehogs are adorable little creatures that make the cutest pets. They don’t need much space, don’t have a lot of needs, and they aren’t foul-smelling or particularly messy, as long as you have the right bedding that is!

We noticed that our hedgehogs were starting to emit a bit of an unpleasant odor, though nothing had changed in our care routine. After some examination, we realized that the bedding we were using had changed. This prompted us to start searching for better alternatives that would be just as comfortable for our spiny little friends but with easier maintenance for us and a more pleasant odor.

After trying out tons of different beddings, we finally settled on three favorites. But we want you to see what’s available, so the following ten reviews will compare the most popular and best hedgehog beddings on the market today. However, only the top three have earned our recommendations.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding
  • Expands to 3 times its size
  • Excellent for burrowing or nesting
  • Eliminates odors
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Living World Pine Shavings Living World Pine Shavings
  • Very affordably priced
  • Naturally pleasant odor
  • Prevents fungus, bacteria, and mold from growing
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding
  • Controls odors for up to 14 days
  • Holds 3 time its weight in water
  • 5% dust-free formula
  • Carefresh Small Animal Bedding Carefresh Small Animal Bedding
  • Neutralizes pet odors for up to 10 days
  • Biodegradable and compostable
  • Creates very little dust
  • Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Small Animal Bedding Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Small Animal Bedding
  • Holds 4 times its weight in liquid
  • ontains herbal lavender
  • The 10 Best Beddings for Hedgehogs – Reviews 2021

    1. Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding — Best Overall

    Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding

    When testing out beddings for our hedgehogs, we’re looking for something comfortable for our pets and easy to keep clean for us. The Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding was the product that met both of these needs best, which is why it’s earned our top recommendation as the best hedgehog bedding overall.

    This bedding expands to three times its size, meaning that you get a lot more than meets the eye when you first hold the bag. As you pull the bedding out, it seemingly multiplies, so it only takes a little to fill the bottom of your hedgehog’s cage. It’s also extremely absorbent, able to hold up to four times its weight in liquid. This means that you’ll be able to go at least a full week between bedding changes without it getting smelly or dirty.

    When we poured this bedding into the cage the first time, we were a bit disappointed that there was a noticeable amount of dust. It’s supposed to be 99.9% dust-free, but we definitely noticed some dust particles floating through the air. However, it also did a great job of containing all of the odors and mess, which is more important.

    Pros
    • Expands to 3 times its size
    • Excellent for burrowing or nesting
    • Holds 4 times its weight in liquid
    • Eliminates odors
    Cons
    • A bit dustier than we expected

    2. Living World Pine Shavings — Best Value

    Living World Pine Shavings Small Animal Bedding

    Wood shavings are one of the most simple and economical types of pet beddings. These pine shavings from Living World are 100% natural and safe for your hedgehog. They’re kiln-dried to eliminate oils, dust, and debris, which results in very low-dust bedding. Plus, these shavings are a natural barrier to mold, fungus, and bacteria.

    Most people enjoy the scent of pine trees, and this pet bedding has a natural pine aroma. This scent also helps it to neutralize the odors of a messy cage, so you can keep a clean and odor-free home.

    The only flaw we found with the Living World Pine Shavings was that they’re not quite as absorptive as some of the paper-based beddings. But pine shavings are also much less expensive. Since they provide so much bang for your buck, we think it’s the best bedding for hedgehogs for the money.

    Pros
    • Very affordably priced
    • Naturally pleasant odor
    • Prevents fungus, bacteria, and mold from growing
    Cons
    • Not as absorptive as paper-based beddings

    3. Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding – Premium Choice

    Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Small Animal Bedding

    It’s a bit more expensive than most of the other beddings we tested, but the Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding earned our premium choice recommendation with excellent performance that we think warrants the higher cost. This bedding can hold up to three times its weight in water, making it twice as absorptive as regular wood shavings.

    As soon as we opened this bedding, we could tell how soft it was, bringing extra comfort to our little quilled friends. It’s perfect for burrowing or nesting, so our hedgehogs seemed very content in it. More importantly, this bedding controls odors for up to 14 days, drastically reducing the amount of cleanup and maintenance required of you.

    We’re always concerned about the health of our pets and ourselves, so we don’t like beddings that create a lot of dust for us to inhale. Luckily, the Vitakraft bedding has almost no dust, and we didn’t notice it when we poured the bedding into the cage.

    Pros
    • Controls odors for up to 14 days
    • Holds 3 time its weight in water
    • 5% dust-free formula
    • Very soft and comfortable for your pet
    Cons
    • Not the most cost-effective option

    4. Carefresh Small Animal Bedding

    Carefresh Small Animal Bedding

    Carefresh Small Animal Bedding is a popular bedding option that many pet owners trust. We had high hopes for this product, but it didn’t quite live up to our expectations. Still, it has some desirable traits that we liked. For instance, it’s completely biodegradable and compostable so you can recycle it after using it. There’s also very little dust with this bedding, so it’s great for those concerned with respiratory issues.

    What we really don’t like about this bedding is the texture. Our hedgehogs seem to prefer softer beddings, but the Carefresh is rough and far less comfortable than other options we tested. Even just running our hands through it, we could feel how coarse it is.

    This product is supposed to neutralize pet odors for up to 10 days, which is pretty impressive. While it may do well eliminating pet odors, the real problem is that it has an unpleasant odor of its own. It’s not the strongest or most putrid scent, but the natural paper scent of the Carefresh bedding was enough to turn us off and make us want to try different bedding with a more pleasant odor.

    Pros
    • Neutralizes pet odors for up to 10 days
    • Biodegradable and compostable
    • Creates very little dust
    Cons
    • The rough texture isn’t as comfortable
    • Has a somewhat strong odor of its own

    5. Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Small Animal Bedding

    Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Small Animal Bedding

    We like some of the bedding products from Kaytee such as the Clean & Cozy bedding that earned our highest recommendation. But the Soft Granule Blend Small Animal Bedding fell short of our expectations, which is why it has earned a much lower position on our list.

    This formula contains herbal lavender for improved control. We thought the Clean & Cozy bedding did a good job of odor control, but adding some pleasant lavender scent doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Too bad we couldn’t actually smell the lavender! And that small change drastically increased the price, making this one of the most expensive small animal beddings we’ve tested. But it didn’t seem to have any positive effect on our pets’ cage odors.

    Despite our complaints, this bedding still does have some positive qualities to offer. It holds up to four times its weight in liquid and it expands to three times its packed size. But it only comes in small quantities, so expect to have to resupply often.

    Pros
    • Holds 4 times its weight in liquid
    Cons
    • Very expensive
    • Doesn’t come in very large quantities
    • Too dusty
    • Lavender scent is too light

    6. Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding

    Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding

    Carefresh makes several different pet beddings, and their Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding is a mixture of kiln-dried wood shavings and comfyfluff bedding pieces. This allows it to be priced very economically while offering some of the superior benefits of other types of beddings. For example, it prevents pet odors for up to five days.

    Though it’s cost-effective, there are other drawbacks to this bedding. To start, it doesn’t expand as much as other beddings. With most beddings, you’re actually getting two to three times as much bedding as it seems because it’s compressed. When you remove it from the packaging it expands, multiplying in size. But the Carefresh Shavings hardly expanded at all. Worse, it caused a lot of dust, which could be detrimental for pets or people with respiratory problems.

    While we like that this product prevents pet odors, we didn’t the like odor of the bedding itself. It has a noticeable musty smell that wasn’t very pleasant. It might be affordable, but the Carefresh Shavings Plus isn’t one of our top choices.

    Pros
    • Prevents pet odors for up to 5 days
    • Very cost-effective
    Cons
    • Doesn’t expand as much as other beddings
    • Much dustier than anticipated
    • Has a noticeable scent of its own

    7. Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding

    Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding

    The Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding is very soft and comfortable. It can also absorb up to 800% of its weight, which should make it very effective pet bedding. The odor control is also a nice feature that’s not found everywhere.

    Unfortunately, we had more complaints about this bedding than praise. It’s supposed to be 99.9% dust-free, but the bag we got filled the air with dust particles when we poured it into our hedgehog’s cage.

    Once the bedding got wet, it didn’t dry out again. It seemed to just stay wet, so we had to remove any messes as they were made. We expected much better from a product that’s priced much higher than most of the competition.

    Pros
    • Absorbs up to 800% of its weight
    • Soft and comfortable
    Cons
    • Overpriced
    • Doesn’t dry out once wet
    • Not dust-free like it claims

    8. Brown’s Naturally Fresh! Corn Cob Bedding

    Brown's Naturally Fresh! Corn Cob Small Animal & Bird Bedding

    Most of the pet beddings we’ve seen are wood-based, using either shavings or paper. Brown’s Naturally Fresh! Corn Cob Bedding is a different story though. It uses absorbent corn cob with paper shreds to create a longer-lasting pet bedding. It’s very easy to spot clean because of the way the corn cob clumps together. It’s also great for animals that burrow or nest, such as hedgehogs.

    But there were some notable drawbacks to this bedding. First, it’s only available in very small quantities, so expect to resupply often. That’s going to get expensive though because this is one of the higher-priced options. The corn cob is also coarse, and not as soft and comfortable for our hedgehogs, which is the final flaw for this corn-based pet bedding.

    Pros
    • Easy to spot clean
    • Great for nesting and burrowing
    Cons
    • Only available in small quantities
    • More expensive than other options
    • Not as soft and comfortable as paper beddings

    9. Dr. Hemp All Natural Pet Bedding

    Dr. Hemp All Natural Pet Bedding Bag, 8-Quart

    Hemp is a sustainable and renewable source that’s applicable for many different uses, including as a pet bedding. It’s got some traits that are desirable, but it’s far from being our favorite.

    Since hemp is highly absorptive, this bedding can absorb up to four times its weight in liquid. It’s also very low in dust, two traits that we look for in every pet bedding. But that’s where the positive traits end.

    This bedding is very hard and coarse. It’s not going to be comfortable for your pets. And you can expect to pay a premium for this product’s subpar performance as it’s one of the more expensive beddings we tested. That will be especially annoying since you’ll be purchasing this so often to deal with the tiny quantity that comes in a bag.

    Pros
    • Absorbs 4 times its weight in liquid
    • Very low in dust
    Cons
    • It’s hard and coarse
    • Very expensive
    • Only comes in small quantities

    10. FiberCore Eco Bedding

    FiberCore Eco Bedding for Small Pet, 3 lb, Brown

    The FiberCore Exo Bedding looks and feels quite different from the other beddings we tested. We were hoping for an admirable performance, but what we actually got was a disappointment. It’s not all bad though, because we did notice that this bedding has great odor control.

    On the other hand, it’s just not economical bedding. It comes in a very small bag that contains very little bedding. When you pull it out, it doesn’t expand like other beddings. What’s worst is that a small bag costs quite a bit more than similar-sized bags of other beddings. For our money, we’d rather go with one of the expanding beddings that offer a lot more bang for your buck, like the Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding that earned our top recommendation.

    Pros
    • Good odor control
    Cons
    • Doesn’t expand like other beddings
    • Small quantity bag
    • Paying more for less substrate

    Conclusion

    There are a lot of different beddings on the market that you could choose for your hedgehogs. In trying to find the most comfortable and lowest-maintenance bedding possible, we tested many different products with varying degrees of effectiveness. You’ve read our reviews and seen our recommendations, but we’re going to summarize our top choices once more to ensure they’re fresh in your mind.

    Our favorite hedgehog bedding overall was the Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding. It expands to three times its packed size, holds four times its weight in liquids, and does an excellent job of eliminating pet odors for a clean and fresh cage.

    Living World Pine Shavings were our pick for the best value. This 100% natural pet bedding has a pleasant natural pine odor that combats pet scents. Plus, it naturally inhibits the growth of fungus, bacteria, and mold, and it’s one of the most economical choices as well.

    Finally, our premium choice recommendation is the Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding. This formula can control odors for up to 14 days, it holds up to three times its weight in liquids, and it’s very soft and comfortable for your pet.

    For most info on Hedgehogs, check out these posts:

     


    Featured Image Credit By: Carefresh, Chewy

    Nicole Cosgrove

    Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.