For those of you, who are in a hurry: Here is my top pick, the Viking Farmer Alfalfa Hay For Rabbits.
Rabbits are playful and cuddly pets, but they also need special care to ensure they’re always healthy and thriving. Your pet’s bedding is a vital piece of their habitat, so it’s essential to understand how to identify the best rabbit beddings. The right bedding keeps your bun safe, healthy, and comfortable, and we have six great options to share.
In this article I am going to review the following 6 bedding options:
- Viking Farmer Alfalfa Hay For Rabbits
- Small Pet Select Timothy Hay
- Oxbow Animal Health Orchard Grass Hay
- Small Pet Select Aspen Beddings
- Carefresh Small Pet Beddings
- Oxbow Timothy Mat
Best Rabbit Beddings
Between the wide range of bedding material and the amount of brands on the market, it can be challenging to know which is the best for your rabbit. We’ve meticulously reviewed tons of bunny-approved bedding to help you find the best options.
Alfalfa hay is a healthy, fragrant bedding option that doubles as a great dietary supplement for your young rabbit. Viking Farmer Alfalfa Hay for Rabbits promises high-quality nutrition and a soft sleep surface.
My favorite part about Viking Farmer’s Alfalfa Hay is that they thoroughly inspect and certify that every batch of hay meets the standards set by the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, and the North American Invasive Species Management Association.
- Bred for quality and nutrition
- Specially packaged to maintain freshness
- Pleasant, natural fragrance
- Available in a range of 5lbs to 25lbs sizes
- Highly absorbent
- Relatively expensive
Timothy hay is another option for your rabbit’s bedding, and Small Pet offers a high-quality 2nd cut Timothy Hay that is perfect for picky eaters. This specific cut of hay offers a combination of the softer parts of the plant and the thicker fibrous stems to give your rabbit warm, comfortable bedding that adds much-needed fiber and nutrients to their diet.
The best part of this hay is that it is minimally handled during processing and packaging to ensure your rabbit is only getting the freshest hay possible. The eco-friendly packaging is also designed to keep the hay fresh during shipping and while it’s being stored for use.
- 2nd cut hay
- Minimally handled during packaging
- Maintains warmth and comfort
- Specially designed package to retain freshness
- Occasionally contains bugs and debris
Oxbow Animal Health Orchard Grass Hay is the ideal bedding for households with family members (on two legs or four) with hay allergies. They gently process and package their hay to reduce dust and fine debris, keeping homes and cages dust-free and healthy for everyone.
- Neutralizes odor
- No color additives
- Dust-free hay
- Safe for allergen sensitivity
- Only available in 9lb package
Small Pet Select Aspen Bedding provides your rabbit with a cost-effective and comfortable sleeping surface. Made from high-quality shaved aspen, this bedding has high absorbency and controls odor well.
One downside is that Aspen shavings are a little rougher than hay or paper. Still, many rabbits find the shavings cozy enough, and your bun may enjoy this affordable and nicely scented bedding type.
- Low cost
- Eco-friendly and recyclable
- Highly absorbent
- Controls odor
- Made from high-quality aspen
- Produces more dust than alternatives
Carefresh is dedicated to developing soft, ultra-absorbent, and comfortable beddings for small pets. Made from natural fiber, this bedding will provide your rabbit with a cozy sleep environment. The best part about the Carefresh Small Pet Bedding is that it is recyclable and compostable, so it’s easy to be environmentally friendly while keeping your rabbit healthy.
While natural fibers are not dangerous for your rabbit to nibble on, it is not an edible material. That said, some buns will attempt a taste-test, so this option may not be best for rabbits that snack on their bedding.
- Recyclable and compostable
- Softer than hay and aspen
- Not edible
Oxbow is recognized for its commitment to manufacturing high-quality bedding for smaller pets. The Timothy Mat is perfect for making any wire surface comfortable for your rabbit’s feet. These soft beds are hand-woven and durable enough to last through frequent nibbling and scratching.
However, a downside for me is that Oxbow Timothy Mats are very pricey. Like all bedding, these still need to be regularly replaced, so the price is difficult to justify. Sure, they also soak up a lot of liquid, but their structure makes them slow drying and susceptible to mold. You might consider hay mats a rare treat for your rabbit rather than a regular bedding material.
- Handwoven timothy hay
- Highly insulating to maintain warmth
- Mats are expensive
- Susceptible to mold
Choosing the Best Rabbit Bedding
With the wide range of options on the market, choosing the best bedding will depend entirely on your rabbit’s breed and preferences. However, no matter what type of rabbit you have, there are a few things you should always consider before purchasing bedding.
Comfort & Warmth
Your rabbit’s comfort means everything, so it’s essential to look for material that will provide a warm, comfortable place for them to rest and burrow. Hay is ideal because it creates a fluffy surface to rest on while also being loose enough to allow your bunny to burrow and hide if they need to.
Another benefit to hay over other bedding materials is that it can be used for indoor and outdoor rabbits, as it holds heat well and insulates their sleeping area to keep them warm.
While it is worthwhile to litter box train your rabbit, it is still important to consider odor control when looking for bedding. If you’re in the process of training, there will still be messes in their bedding, and a material that is absorbent of liquid and odors while also being easy to change is a great option.
Aspen shavings, hay, and hay mats have a pleasant natural scent that helps to mask any odor, and aspen is exceptionally absorbent when it comes to larger messes.
Suppose your rabbit is not litter box trained or doesn’t always do their business in their litter box. In that case, it’s best to avoid materials like natural fibers, shredded paper, and cloth mats, as they tend to get smelly quickly, and are more difficult to clean or change out when needed.
Rabbits love to chew on just about anything, so whatever you put in their living space should be edible or safe for them to nibble on. Hay bedding is a healthy material to use, because it is both comfortable and a necessary dietary supplement to give them added nutrients and fiber.
Generally, alfalfa hay is best for younger rabbits, and older rabbits should be given timothy hay blends. Alfalfa hay is higher in calcium and fat, which is needed in younger rabbits’ diets but can be unhealthy for older ones.
Aspen shavings are also safe for bunnies to chew on, but it is difficult for them to break down and actually eat. If you opt for aspen shavings, be sure to include plenty of hay in your rabbit’s enclosure so they don’t resort to snacking on their bedding.
No matter how clean your rabbit is, you will need to regularly switch out their bedding to keep their space hygienic and comfortable. Regularly changing their bedding means you will go through a lot of material. Eco-friendly, recyclable material will not only be safe for your rabbit but also helps cut down on waste.
Any bedding made from natural materials such as hay, wood shavings, and fibers that do not have artificial scents or additives is biodegradable and eco-friendly. Hay is doubly eco-friendly because it is also a great material for composting.
Finally, rabbits prefer to have separate areas to go to the bathroom and rest in, so it’s important to create a sense of separation in the products you use to create their home. You should be sure to use different material for their bedding than what you use for their littler, so they know where to do their business and where to sleep.
For example, if you are using paper or wood pellets for your rabbit’s litter, timothy or alfalfa hay bedding will create a separate space with material that is for eating and sleeping on.
Rabbit Beddings to Avoid
Most pet bedding that is marketed for rabbits is safe, but there are few specific materials you might find in bedding that should be avoided for the safety and health of your pet.
While fabric liners aren’t necessarily a hazard for your rabbit, they are not the best bedding. Not only will they get smelly very quickly, but they are also difficult to clean properly. This can make your rabbit’s cage unhygienic and uncomfortable over time.
If you have a bunny that is prone to digging and chewing whatever they can get in their mouth, cloth bedding can also present a danger.
Cedar & Pine
You’ll want to avoid cedar and pine shavings altogether in your rabbit’s bedding. These wood types contain chemicals that are dangerous for your rabbit’s delicate systems, and can cause skin irritation, liver damage, and even death with prolonged exposure.
Clay Cat Litter
Clay litter is designed for cats to absorb moisture and odor and clump together, but it is dangerous for rabbits. Clay litter gets very dusty and is particularly hazardous for your bunny’s delicate lungs. Rabbits also tend to nibble on their litter, and if ingested, clay litter can clump in their digestive tract and cause serious blockages.
Another highly dusty material, sawdust can easily cause lung irritation and make it difficult for your rabbit to breathe, causing life-threatening conditions. Even wood shavings that have too much dust in them can cause respiratory problems for your rabbit, so if you decide to use wood material, inspect the packaging closely to ensure it is not full of dust.
Some small animal bedding is made with shredded paper, but this is not a safe option for your rabbit. Whether you buy paper bedding specific for small animals, or recycle shredded newspaper, all paper is chemically treated to produce the correct consistency, which can be dangerous for your rabbit’s delicate system.
In particular, newspaper should be avoided, because it contains toxic inks and other chemicals that can make your bunny sick if ingested.
The best rabbit beddings are safe for your pet bunny, eco-friendly, and keep your bun comfortable. One of my top picks that meets all of these criteria and more is the Viking Farmer Alfalfa Hay. The high-quality hay is the perfect combination of soft and fibrous to keep your rabbit comfortable and well-fed.
Of course, all pet rabbits are different, so you’ll need to choose the best product for your critter’s unique needs and personality. The good news is that any of these six best rabbit beddings is an excellent and healthy option for your rabbit.
You might also be interested in the following articles:
- 9 Best Rabbit Food & Pellets For A Healthy Diet (Review & Guide)
- 5 Best Hay For Rabbits For Healthy Teeth & Digestion (Review & Guide)
- 8 Best Rabbit Harnesses That Are Safe & Comfy (Review & Guide)
- 7 Best Litter For Rabbits – Safe Options (Review & Guide)
- 10 Rabbit Care Tips For Beginners
- 7 Best Rabbit Litter Boxes (Review & Guide)
- 7 Best Outdoor Rabbit Hutch (Review & Guide)
- 7 Best Indoor Rabbit Cages (Review & Guide)