What are the best guinea pig beddings?
Well, that depends on quite a few factors, including your budget, how much time you have to change out your cavy’s cage, and more.
Below, we’ll go over the different types of bedding, the benefits and drawbacks of each, and more to help you pick just the right one for your needs.
Start with a quick look at the list below of my top recommendations, then keep reading for more info about each.
In a hurry and need something right away? Check our top recommendations below.
READ MORE: Best Guinea Pig Litter Boxes
Best Guinea Pig Beddings at a Glance
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
- The Piggy Place Handmade Fleece Liners
- Carefresh 99% Dust-Free Natural Paper Bedding
- Kaytee Aspen Bedding
- Paw Inspired Washable Bamboo Liner
- Kaytee Critter Litter
What is the best litter for guinea pigs?
Real quick, I want to address this question, because when I was talking to a friend about habitat bedding, she kept referring to it as litter.
It made me think that there are a lot of others out there who may be searching for “best guinea pig litter” versus bedding, and I don’t want to leave you out.
When I think of litter, I’m picturing a tiny cavy-sized litter box in the corner of a habitat filled with kitty litter.
For the purposes of this post, though, we’re going with my friend’s interpretation of it: guinea pig liners for your cavy’s habitat.
That said, I did include a little something extra at the end for those of us who think of litter as “a place for piggies to go potty.”
Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s check out the different types of bedding that I’ve used (and which one I recommend most highly).
Best guinea pig bedding ideas
Let’s break this section down into the most common types of guinea pig bedding. As mentioned above, I’ve used all of these (except wood) at one point or another.
We’ll go over the benefits and drawbacks of each, then I’ll give you a top recommendation to help you shop.
Hands down, fleece is definitely the best guinea pig bedding overall.
I used other types before fleece, and let me just say that once I switched, I never, ever, ever went back!
Here’s a breakdown of the benefits and drawbacks:
Benefits and Drawbacks
|Super soft and skin-friendly||Requires more upkeep|
|Washable and reusable||The initial investment may be more|
|Preferred by piggies|
As you can see, the ups far outweigh the downs. Fleece bedding is soft on your cavy’s delicate skin and far more comfortable than other options.
My piggies definitely preferred it! Plus, not that your cavies care, but you can choose really cute prints and make the entire habitat more stylish in general.
However, there is one major drawback (and one minor one): upkeep.
You will need to spend a little more time removing piggy poo (and wow, they poo a lot) each day and washing the bedding weekly.
How does it compare to other types of bedding?
We’ve just touched on this, but let me get a bit more detailed, since upkeep is the one thing that tends to turn most people off of fleece.
While you do need to spend more time on it, I actually find it a lot easier to clean than other bedding, especially during a full swap-out.
I just reach in with gloved hands, swoop up the fleece, throw it in a bag, wipe down the bottom of the habitat, then put a new fleece in.
Then I take the bag outside, shake out the liner, and pop it in the wash! Easy-peasy.
By comparison, when I was cleaning out other types of bedding, I had to put my piggies in a playpen.
Then, I’d stand on a chair to reach down into the habitat (I’m short), and spend a good 15 scooping it all out.
By the end, my back hurt and I was a sneezing mess from dust particles (and probably other particles that I don’t want to think about) flying all over the place.
Plus, fleece bedding is SO much cheaper in the long run. SO much.
Before we learned about the guinea pig bedding alternatives, I was spending upwards of $240 a year on habitat litter alone, easily. Probably more!
That said, depending on how many you buy, the initial investment costs a bit more than just grabbing some disposable bedding.
However, I recommend these by The Piggy Palace. They come in a ton of colors and sizes.
Unfortunately, if you have a larger cage, you’re looking at upwards of $50+per liner, which makes your initial investment pretty hefty.
Make your own fleece bedding
Your other option is to just make your own.
It’s easy enough to follow guinea pig fleece bedding instructions (like this one) and make your own. My mom makes them all the time for my piggies.
Grab a bunch of cheap fleece blankets like this 6-pack from Amazon and some moving/shipping blankets (like the 12 pack below).
As you can see, for just around $60, you can make a dozen of them!
- Professional-grade: Oversized, 80" x 72" premium quality moving pads that provide exceptional damage protection from scratches, nicks, dirt, and moisture when moving or transporting furniture, appliances, and other valuable large items
- Superior cushioning: Constructed with thick, padded virgin cotton batting with polyester binding, these packing blankets offer superior protection compared to most competitor's blankets made from inferior materials. Zig-zag stitching holds inner cushioning in place for consistent padding protection and prolonged pad life.
- Durable: Weighing approximately 3-1/2 pounds apiece, these heavy-duty furniture blankets feature a reinforced double-lock stitched fabric with polyester binding that is highly resilient to tears and built-to-last
- Multi-purpose: Ideal for both professional and do-it-yourself moving, these versatile, general purpose blankets are well suited for safe, breathable protection for items in storage, as well as protecting floors, car upholstery, and much more
- Dual-sided: Quality, double-sided construction allows for added convenience and protection when securely wrapping up items or sliding furniture across floors
How many fleece liners should you buy?
Last note regarding fleece liners: I HIGHLY recommend buying/making 8.
Why 8? Well, it’s one for every day of the week, plus a spare.
Now, you won’t need to change it every single day. In fact, you may only change it three times a week.
However, I like to plan ahead, just in case my washing machine breaks, my cavies make more of a mess than usual, and so on. So 8 seems like a nice safe number.
If you’re just really not loving the idea of fleece guinea pig beddings and really prefer something you can throw away, natural unbleached paper is the second-best option.
It’s what we used before we learned about fleece bedding. It’s also among the best bedding for guinea pig odor control if you buy the right brand.
Benefits and Drawbacks
|Absorbent||Expensive over time|
|Soft and skin-safe||Can get dusty|
|Good odor control*|
Like fleece, natural paper bedding is pretty gentle on your piggy’s skin overall.
It absorbs liquids and odors fairly well, too, as long as you get something that’s fairly high-quality.
It sounds silly, paper is paper, right? Well, I quickly learned that some brands are MUCH better at locking in stinky piggy pee than others.
How does it compare to other beddings?
As far as bedding goes, paper is no harder or easier to keep clean than the rest of the bedding below.
For full cleanings, just scoop it all out and throw it away (unlike fleece, which needs to be washed).
However, the price is killer! Like I said, I was spending close to $250 a year on the stuff!
We used a couple of different brands before we switched to fleece, but Carefresh was my favorite.
They promise “10-day odor control.” While that only applies if you do daily spot cleanings, it really does control odors pretty well.
Plus, it’s fairly affordable overall. We used the white or natural. I wouldn’t recommend the colorful stuff.
I just don’t see the point in putting dyed bedding in your cavy habitat. Even if it’s natural coloring (which is unclear), why risk it?
- Small Pet Bedding: Our clean, white natural paper fiber bedding makes the softest, driest most comfortable home for small pets
- Pillowy Soft: Comfyfluff natural paper bedding made from scratch is gentle on sensitive feet with perfect texture for burrowing, tunneling, nesting, or creating a hamster hideout; ideal rat, mice or guinea pig bedding, rabbit litter or for small pets
- Exceptional Odor Control: Ideal for use as hamster bedding, guinea pig habitat lining, or bunny bedding, our pet-safe, proven odor-control formula suppresses ammonia odors for up to 10 days
- Ultra-Absorbent: 2X more absorbent than shavings, our natural paper bedding keeps small pets and their homes warm and dry with no more soggy messes to clean up
- 99 percent Dust-Free: Free of harmful chemicals and synthetic dyes, our high performance bedding is virtually dust free so your pet can enjoy a cleaner, healthier home. Biodegradable and compostable means better for the planet too
As we move beyond fleece and paper, we start to head into controversial territory.
Personally, I stayed away from wood bedding because I didn’t want to risk getting a brand with dangerous oils.
However, if you really want wood bedding, aspen is the way to go.
|Safest wood bedding (no dangerous oils)||Doesn’t absorb well|
|Usually dust-free||Not as skin-friendly as other options|
|No odor to the bedding itself|
Note, by “no odor,” I mean the bedding doesn’t smell. It’s actually not all that great at controlling piggy odors.
On the other hand, aspen is the least toxic choice, so while it won’t keep your habitat smelling fresh, it also won’t kill your cavy.
It’s really the ONLY wood-based bedding I’d recommend.
For the record, you may see other sites talk about pine bedding for guinea pigs. I DO NOT recommend it at all.
It can cause dangerous (and even deadly) allergic reactions in cavies.
In fact, even you might end up red and bumpy, as pine oil is very abrasive to your skin.
Cedar isn’t much better, in my opinion.
Like I said, I never used wood bedding, so I can’t tell you from personal experience how well it works.
However, Kaytee’s Aspen bedding is among the most well-liked and highly-rated, so it’s a good place to start.
I like that it’s “processed to eliminate dust and wood debris.” Definitely important, since dust can cause respiratory problems in piggies.
If that part of the list seems incredibly short, there’s a reason for it. I do not recommend any other type of bedding for cavies, period.
Now, that doesn’t mean I only recommend three brands! I just shared those as an example of my top choice.
There are tons of options within those three types, so if you don’t love one brand, don’t just write the entire bedding off.
Try different ones until you find the perfect fit for your budget, lifestyle, and piggy’s needs
Now, we’ll head over to the other meaning of “the best litter for guinea pigs.”
READ MORE: How to Potty Train Guinea Pigs?
Best Litter Box Litter for Guinea Pigs
If you thought the bedding list was short, wait until you see this one!
The best litter box litter for guinea pigs isn’t littered at all. It’s paper.
I’m not kidding. Plain old paper litter is by far the safest and easiest choice for your cavy’s “litter box” area.
Wait, can’t I just use kitty litter for guinea pigs instead?
No. Nope, nope, nope. No. DO NOT use cat litter for your cavy.
First, it’s way too dusty. Even “dust-free” brands! If you look at most of those, it’ll say “99% dust-free,” or “compared to leading brands.”
Second, even the paper-based pellet litter is hard on little cavy feet. Heck, it’s hard on my cat’s feet!
Third, piggies eat freaking everything in sight, and they can choke on litter clumps.
Bottom line, don’t do it. Just use the paper bedding above.
I recommend fleece bedding above all else. If that’s not feasible for you, though, paper bedding is my next top choice.
Just remember, wood is a last resort, and only if you choose something without volatile oils. In other words, no pine!
What is the best litter for guinea pigs in your opinion? Share below!