For those of you, who are in a hurry: Here’s our top pick, the GuineaDad Fleece Liner 2.0.
Looking for the best bedding for hedgehogs, we found, that many reviews just list every product they can find. We thought it would be helpful for you to write an honest review. So we invested hours of research to find the best bedding options that might fit your hedgehog too. Here they come!
In this article we’re going to review the following 5 hedgehog bedding options:
- Our top pick: GuineaDad Fleece Liner 2.0
- Carefresh Small Pet Bedding
- Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding
- Living World Pine Shavings
- Small Pet Select Aspen Bedding
Why should I buy Bedding for my Hedgehog?
The bedding has several functions and is essential for the well-being of your pet. It covers the floor for a nice feeling on the hedgies’ feet, controls odor, absorbs liquids and serves as nesting material.
As you might think, it is not easy to find bedding that meets all the needs. In most cases, it makes sense to use different bedding types in the different areas of the cage.
In the following paragraphs, we first explain what to consider when choosing the bedding. After that, we go into detail with the different bedding types, followed by our reviews.
What to consider when choosing a bedding option for hedgehogs? (Buying guide)
As a pet lover, you will agree, that this is the foremost point. There are several things about bedding, that will have an impact on the health of your hedgehog.
First of all, there are some kinds of bedding that you should avoid completely. This is especially for some kinds of wood shavings. In most cases they contain so-called phenols, that can cause serious health problems. Apart from that the likelihood of infections with lice, fungus or mold are the highest in this kind of bedding.
Apart from that, you must ensure, that the bedding is free from mites. Mites can get into the bags at every stage of the supply chain, for example during transportation, in the warehouse or at the pet shop. Usually, mites are not the fault of the manufacturer and say little about the product quality in general. A good practice is to check every new bag when you open it.
As hedgies have short legs, the bedding will contact their genitals. In some cases, it can stick to these body parts and cause urinary blockage.
This point is also kind of health-related. Anyhow, some bedding materials tend more to dust building than others. The small particle can lead to serious issues with the respiratory system and the eyes as well.
Generally, cheap bedding options will tend to release more dust when they become soiled then quality ones.
Nobody wants to live in a surrounding, that is comfortless. Of course, this is also for your prickly pal. To offer a cozy home, you should choose bedding that feels nice and soft.
As a general rule, it should feel like mentioned above when you stroke over it. A study has confirmed the influence the bedding has on the sleep of small animals.
Usually, hedgehogs do not stink. But of course, they pee and poop and that can smell if not cleaned regularly. The bedding can eliminate some of the odors when it is chosen right.
This is also a very important function of bedding.
Color & Scents
Of course, it is obvious, that bedding for small pets with such a sensitive respiratory system must not be scented. But have you ever thought about colors? Even if there is the possibility of toxic paints that should be avoided, but we mean something else.
Dark colors may camouflage the poop. It can be really difficult to see when the bedding is soiled and hast to be changed urgently. Apart from that, the appearance of feces can tell you a lot about the health of your hedgehog. Because of this, we highly recommend using lightish varieties.
We understand, that the bedding is the part where most people tend to opt for cheaper options. Especially because it is changed on regular basis costs add up fast.
In our opinion, it is still better to choose quality over price. In the long term, it will be cheaper in most cases. Quality bedding usually has not to be changed that often. Apart from that, it will release less dust.
Bedding materials to choose from
Paper bedding is the cheapest option compared to other materials. To our surprise, it often lasts longer than expected. Anyhow, there are some things to consider when deciding for paper bedding.
To avoid toxic chemicals, ensure that all dyes and additives are removed. The best choice is unbleached and unrecycled paper.
When you choose the package size, have in mind that paper bedding is compressed. When unpacked, it needs to be fluffed. It then will become soft and expands in its full size.
While paper bedding is highly absorbent, odor control varies between the different products. Apart from that, the fluffy material tends to stick to your hedgehog.
Soft Wood Shavings
Many pet owners fall back to wood shavings at a certain point. We fully understand that, as it comes with lots of advantages. Wood shavings are biodegradable and easily disposable, they look natural and usually have good odor control. Apart from that most products are affordable and tend to be a choice for people on a budget.
Nonetheless, there are some controversial aspects that need to be discussed. Most woods contain phenols, essential oils and acids that are toxic for hedgehogs. This is mostly for cedar, but there is no wood where you can be 100 % sure.
If the wood is treated and kiln-dried, it can be a comprise, but we recommend going for other options. Further wood is prone to pests like mites, lice or fungus.
From our view, Aspen is the best wood bedding, but good quality is hard to find. One main advantage is its price, as it is cheap. But there are several things that contradict:
- Skin issues are known even with aspen
- It is not comfortable
- Not as absorbent than other
- Not as much odor control than other
Pine can be a responsible choice if it kiln-dried. This is a treated option where all oils, dust and toxins a removed during the process.
Most hedgehog owners switch to fabric bedding at a certain point. Honestly, it is our favorite bedding option too. The advantages are invincible, especially for sensitive hedgehogs:
- It is washable and can be reused over a long time
- This make it to the cheapest option in the long term
- It is cozy and feels nice
- There are no toxic components
- It is unlikely to harbor pests
- There are no wood splinters, dust or other small pieces
- It can help to handle your hedgie
Of course, nothing is perfect and there are things you can complain about when using fleece or another fabric bedding:
- Loose thread can wrap around toes or feet
- Light accessories may slide and need to be fixed
- Nothing to borrow in
We recommend using light colors here as well so that you can see uncommon changes in the stool. To prevent your hedgie from skin issues you should wash it with sensitive detergent. A good practice is to add some other sort like paper bedding in different areas of the cage, so you can create spaces where your hedgie can burrow. If it is possible for you and your critter, you should try to litter train him. With a toilet area in combination with fabric bedding, you make cleaning very easy. In the video below you get some tips for litter training your hedgie. A good trick can also be to place a litter pan underneath the hedgehog wheel.
Pellets are great for absorbing odor and liquids. That makes this bedding a good choice for the toilet area if you managed to litter train your hedgie. Apart from that, we do not recommend this type of bedding for the whole habitat as it can stick in between the quills. This can be quite painful for your little friend.
Bedding types you should avoid
We mentioned it already in the paragraphs above: there are some kinds of bedding you should definitely stay away from.
Cedar contains several toxins and acids (mostly phenols) that are bad for the respiratory system of your hedgehog. Apart from that, it can cause eye-irritations, liver issues and even cancer.
Corncobs are everything else but comfy. Apart from that, they are prone to mold growth. Mold can cause serious health issues.
Other beddings options you should avoid because of various reasons are:
- Garden soil
Bedding for Hedgehog reviews
Our top pick: GuineaDad Fleece Liner 2.0
The Fleece Liner 2.0 is our top pick and it might be the right choice for you too. Different from DIY fleece beddings, it absorbs moisture in a second layer of bamboo fiber. On top of that, the waterproof bottom ensures that urine stays inside.
Different size options ensure that it really fits to your hedgehog cage.
Daily cleaning is easy by just using a brush. Once a week you can put it in the laundry to have it look like a new one.
- Anti-bacterial & anti-fungal
- Easy cleaning
- Super odor control
- Hideout place in pocket
- Reduces noise when your hedgie is running around at night
- Cheap in the long run
- Pricy at first as you pay upfront
- Tends to shrink when washed to warm
Carefresh Small Pet Bedding
Many hedgehog owners use the Carefresh paper bedding and are convinced. So of course this should not be missing in our review.
- Soft and fluffy
- 10-day odor control
- 2x more absorbent than shavings
- 99% dust-free
- Quality not consistent
Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding
- Without harmful chemicals and additives
- Soft and comfortable
- Super absorbent
- Unbleached and never been printed
- Expands 3 times the volume
- 99.9 % dust-free
- Quality not consistent
- Odor control not as good as advertised
- Customers complain about package size
Living World Pine Shavings
These pine shavings come with all pros and cons of the material, we have discussed that in the sections above. Essential oils and dust are eliminated by the processing.
- Expands volume to 4-cubic inch
- Large splinters must be sorted out
Small Pet Select Aspen Bedding
This product comes with all pros and cons of aspen we already discussed above. Even if you can use it for hedgehogs, we would definitely prefer softer materials like fleece.
- Expands to 8 cubic feet
- No additives
- Good odor control
- Not as dust-free as advertised, even some people use it for hedgies and piggies
Finding a good quality bedding option that meets the needs of a hedgehog is not as easy as it seems. During our research and also from our experience, we found that most hedgehog owners switch to fleece bedding at a certain point.
We think alike and recommend the GuineaDad Fleece Liner 2.0. Compared to other bedding options it is the most hygienic you can buy. There is no way it can harm the respiratory system of your hedgie. Apart from that, it is easy to clean and the price will be a good investment in the long run. Different from other fleece beddings we really liked the pockets which can be used as a hideaway and for burrowing.
You might also be interested in the following articles:
- 10 Best Hedgehog Food For A Healthy Diet (Review & Guide)
- 5 Best Hedgehog Wheels That Really Run (Review & Guide)
- 8 Best Hedgehog Cages That Really Suit (Review And Guide)
- 5 Best Cat Foods For Hedgehogs (Review & Guide)
- 8 Best Hedgehog Carrier Bags That Are Safe & Comfy (Review & Guide)
- 5 Best Hedgehog Cage Liners (Review & Guide)
- 5 Best Hedgehog Playpens Reviewed
- 3 Best Hedgehog Sleeping Bags & Snuggle Sacks Reviewed
- How Much Does A Hedgehog Cost?
- Is A Hedgehog A Good Pet?