Bedding is a controversial subject in the world of rabbit ownership. Some owners couldn’t imagine not providing bedding for their indoor pets, while others believe using it for indoor enclosures only causes confusion and delays in litter training. Ultimately, the decision to use it or not is entirely up to you. Though, if you’ve decided to use bedding in your rabbit’s enclosure, you’ve come to the right place.
Read on to find our reviews of the ten best options for rabbits and learn more about bedding so you can decide if it is right for your rabbit and its lifestyle.
A Glance at Our Top Picks (2024 Update)
|Kaytee Aspen Small Animal Bedding
|Sweet Meadow Farm Small Pet Bedding
|Zampa Pets Reusable Dog Pee Pad
|Small Pet Select Small Pet Aspen Bedding
|Luciphia Calming Blankets
The 10 Best Bedding for Rabbits
1. Kaytee Aspen Small Animal Bedding – Best Overall
|20-liter, 52-liter, 113-liter, or 226.5-liter
The best overall bedding for rabbits kept outdoors is the Kaytee Aspen Small Animal Bedding. This substrate is made of all-natural aspen shavings and has been processed to eliminate dust particles or wood debris to prevent any issues with your pet’s respiratory system. It contains no aromatic oils like sometimes seen in other wood substrates and is super absorbent to help control odors. As with all hardwood shavings, this product is biodegradable, making it an eco-friendly option for pet owners with sustainability at the top of mind.
Upon opening the packaging, this bedding has a strange smell, though it dissipates with time.
2. Sweet Meadow Farm Straw Small Pet Bedding – Best Value
|15 ounces or 6 pounds
Filling your rabbit’s enclosure with straw can be pricey, so if you’re on a tight budget, the Sweet Meadow Farm Straw Small Pet Bedding offers up the best bedding for rabbits for the money. This straw bedding gives your pet a soft and cozy place to sleep while providing great insulation to ensure your rabbit stays warm even in cooler temperatures. In addition, straw is low on dust naturally, so you won’t have to contend with pesky dust particles when changing the bedding. Though straw isn’t super nutritious, it does provide a high-fiber snack if your rabbit so chooses to munch on it.
There is other plant debris in the packaging, including some weeds and wheat seed heads.
3. Zampa Pets Quality Whelp Rectangular Reusable Dog Pee Pad – Premium Choice
|Polyester, synthetic fabric
As strange as it may sound, a whelping pad such as the Zampa Pets Quality Whelp Rectangular Reusable Dog Pee Pad can make for great enclosure flooring. This particular pad has four layers for comfort and absorbency. The inner layer is waterproof, so this is a great option if you want to protect hardwood flooring. The pad is durable and washable, so you can keep using it. It’s also suitable for use indoors or outdoors, so it’s great for any rabbit enclosure.
The bottom of the pad is plastic, so aggressive chewers could potentially put holes in it. If this sounds like your rabbit, but you’d really like a substrate that would protect your hardwood flooring, we recommend using another bedding type on top.
4. Small Pet Select Small Pet Aspen Bedding
|16-liter or 113-liter
The Small Pet Select Small Pet Aspen Bedding is a great option as it provides a safe and clean surface for your rabbit to sleep. The log shavings have been kiln-dried and do not have any additives or toxins so they’re completely safe for your rabbit’s respiratory system. This bedding is made of all-natural aspen, so it’s recyclable and compostable and doesn’t produce much dust.
While there are no additives or toxins in this bedding, it does have a strong and slightly off-putting scent that may be bothersome to pet owners with scent sensitivities.
5. Luciphia Calming Blankets
The Luciphia Calming Blankets are a great option for rabbit owners looking for a fabric substrate for their pet’s enclosure. It’s made of polyester, which is a safe option as it does not have unsafe fibers like other fabrics. It’s made with polymer plastics, which pose less of a blockage hazard than other material types. These blankets are easy to clean and dry and will not pill. Additionally, they’re super soft and warm, so they’re perfect for your outdoor rabbit’s home.
The blanket has a label on the front that must be removed with a seam ripper to ensure your rabbit does not chew on it. The blankets may be smaller than expected, so take measurements to ensure you get the right size.
6. INVENHO Washable Pee Pads
The INVENHO Washable Pee Pads have four thickened layers to ensure absorbency and odor. They are easy to clean as they’re machine washable and safe to put in your dryer on a low setting. These whelping pads have an anti-slip feature on the bottom to keep them in place and are not made with a fabric that will be easy for your rabbit to get caught in or chew.
As with the other whelping pad on our list, this product might be better used in conjunction with another substrate type. It works great for protecting your flooring from moisture and messes, though.
7. JONATHAN Y SEU100I-3 Haze Solid Low-Pile Indoor Area-Rug
|1 rug, 3 x 5 feet
The JONATHAN Y SEU100I-3 Haze Solid Low-Pile Indoor Area-Rug is a great option for rabbit bedding as it’s very affordable and available in many sizes. This rug is tightly woven with a low pile, making it difficult for rabbits to grab with their teeth and claws. In addition, it’s machine woven, so the fibers stay put and won’t shed any fluff into your home or pet’s enclosure.
The rug may arrive creased, which can take some time to settle out. The manufacturer recommends cleaning the rug professionally when soiled and not machine washing it at home.
8. Pequano Guinea Pig Cage Liners
|2 pack, 24 x 47 inches
Don’t let this product’s title deter you; the Pequano Guinea Pig Cage Liners work just as well for rabbits as it does for guinea pigs. These liners come in a two-pack and are available in several different sizes. These highly absorbent and leakproof liners are comfortable for your rabbit and easy to clean. In addition, they have an anti-slip bottom, so they’ll stay put in your rabbit’s enclosure.
While these are machine washable, they may shrink some in the dryer. Additionally, they arrive curled up and may not lie flat immediately.
9. Martha Stewart Collection by SAFAVIEH Natural MSR9501A Farmhouse Sisal & Jute Area Rug
|Natural fibers, jute
|1 rug, 5 x 7 feet
The Martha Stewart Collection by SAFAVIEH Natural MSR9501A Farmhouse Sisal & Jute Area Rug is a great enclosure bedding option as it’s made of a rabbit-safe edible material. This product is stylish and non-shedding, adding a little something to the room you’re using it in, and it is entirely safe for your pet to boot. The rug is available in several different colors and sizes.
No non-slip backing is built into the rug, and it may come with creases that will flatten over time.
10. Brown’s Naturally Fresh! Aspen Small Animal & Bird Bedding
Brown’s Naturally Fresh! Aspen Small Animal & Bird Bedding is a clean and comfortable substrate free of any aromatic oils. It’s great for bedding and nesting material and is 100% biodegradable. It’s low on dust and fluffier than other aspen bedding on the market.
This bedding is quite expensive for the amount that you’re receiving. In addition, the aspen pieces are inconsistently sized, and some may have sharp edges that could pose a cutting hazard.
Buyer’s Guide: Shopping for the Best Bedding for Rabbits
There are several things one must take into consideration when shopping for the best bedding for their rabbits.
Materials to Consider
The best bedding material options are aspen, straw, jute, rugs, and certain fabrics.
Aspen is an excellent wood choice as it’s economical and absorbent. Most rabbits find it quite comfortable and insulating for cooler weather, too.
Straw can make great bedding as it’s comfortable and warm. In addition, it works great for nesting material and is on the lower end of the price spectrum.
Edible rugs, such as those made of jute or sisal, are completely safe if your rabbit decides to chew on them.
Low-pile rugs are a very popular option as they don’t contain loose fibers that rabbits can get their claws stuck in or grab with their teeth.
Fleece blankets are cozy and warm but best paired with an absorbent layer underneath (such as an old towel). You can also buy ready-made fleece liners with the waterproof layer already attached.
Whelping pads are great to use with other soft flooring types, as they protect your hardwood floors or existing carpets.
You can also use your old bed sheets, towels, or comforters if you have them lying around going unused.
Bedding vs Litter
Some rabbit owners use the terms’ bedding’ and ‘litter’ interchangeably, but they are two very different substrates.
Bedding refers to the material spread across the floor in your rabbit’s habitat, while litter is the substrate inside your pet’s designated litter box. Some litters make great bedding and vice versa; however, this isn’t always the case. A paper-based substrate isn’t the best bedding, but it is highly absorbent, so it’s great in your pet’s litter box.
Fabric-based bedding is not recommended in litter boxes as it’s not as absorbent as other options, but it works great as bedding.
Straw is not ideal for litter boxes as it offers very little value nutritionally, and rabbits love to munch away while they’re in their litter boxes. Still, it’s a fantastic insulator, so it’s great as bedding for outdoor rabbit enclosures.
Do Indoor Rabbits Need Bedding?
Indoor bedding isn’t actually necessary at all for strictly indoor rabbits so long as your pet has access to soft flooring. Outdoor rabbits, however, need bedding for insulation and to help them thermoregulate during the year’s cooler months.
Using bedding when it’s not necessary can be problematic when it comes to litter training your rabbit. It’s best to use bedding only inside your pet’s litter box and not throughout the rest of the enclosure to prevent any confusion.
If you want to use bedding, choose something different than what you’re putting in your pet’s litter box. Some rabbit owners prefer using old towels or blankets as bedding in their pet’s habitats.
What About Paper Bedding?
You’ve likely noticed a clear lack of paper bedding in our product round-up. That wasn’t an oversight as there’s a good reason we do not recommend paper bedding for rabbits. This substrate works great in your pet’s litter box but outfitting its entire enclosure with such bedding would be costly, smelly, and just plain unnecessary.
For the best overall bedding for rabbits, Kaytee’s Aspen Small Animal Bedding provides a soft, absorbent, and affordable solution that’s biodegradable and completely rabbit safe.
Pet owners on a budget will appreciate the affordable small pet bedding from Sweet Meadow Farm. This straw bedding is not only edible but also insulating and cozy.
Our premium choice is the Zampa Pets Quality Whelp Rectangular Reusable Dog Pee Pad. Albeit not the standard small animal bedding, it can still work quite well.
We hope our reviews have helped shed some light on your bedding options and given you ideas about which type will be best for your pet. Remember that your indoor rabbit may not need bedding at all. If you’re trying to litter train it, having bedding and litter may only cause confusion and delays in your training.
- How to Litter Train Your Rabbit: Vet-Suggested Tips, Facts & FAQ
- Hypoallergenic Rabbit Breeds: Do They Exist?
Featured Image Credit: photosforyou, Pixabay