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Best Guinea Pig Bedding for 2020

Guinea pig bedding is vital for helping to absorb urine and dirt, helping to keep your piggies as clean and hygienic as possible in their enclosure.

Without good-quality and absorbent material, they can get ill very quickly and are susceptible to all kinds of infection.

But with so many different materials of guinea pig liner, it can often get confusing what’s best for them, as some are safer and more practical than others.

So to help you discover the ideal option for your little pipsqueaks, we’ve surveyed over 80 individual bedding products from the 6 different types available, all readily available online.

Then separating the wheat from the chaff, we’ve chosen 8 of our favourites based on how safe, soft and absorbent they are, so we can advise you on the very best in your chosen bedding type, whether that be fleece, wood shavings, hemp, linen or other!

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    Our Top Picks

    Image Product Details
    Hugro Hemp Bedding
    • Hemp-based bedding
    • pH neutral & harmless for allergies
    • Economical thin layers needed
    Check Price
    Bunny Bed O'Linum Natural Linen Bedding
    • Stays dry for 14 days!
    • Biodegradable for compost!
    • 30% better absorption than hemp!
    Check Price
    GuineaDad Fleece Liner
    • Three layers of protection!
    • Save on cleaning time
    • Cost-effectively washable!
    Check Price

    The Top 8 Best Guinea Pig Bedding & Liners Reviewed

    1.
    Hugro Hemp Bedding

    Hemp is one of our absolute favourite forms of guinea pig bedding as it is made from natural plant fibres and creates a layering system which draws urine from the top layer down to the bottom, keeping piggy feet dry for longer!

    HUGRO is one of the most reliable hemp-based beddings on the market, made from the sponge-like core of the hemp stalk, giving it a naturally high absorbency. This means urine is soaked up fast and effectively, and HUGRO is proven to absorb 1.5x faster than most linen-based litters and 2x as fast as wooden pellets.

    Hemp itself is also a loose structure which provides plenty of ventilation, binding unpleasant ammonia smells deep into the capillaries of the bedding.

    Biodegradable and compostable, it’s also hypoallergenic and won’t produce harmful dust!

    Features

    • Hemp-based bedding
    • pH neutral & harmless for allergies
    • Economical thin layers needed

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 65 x 33 x 10 cm
    • Size: 30L, 10L
    • Type: Hemp

    2.
    Bunny Bed O'Linum Natural Linen Bedding

    Perhaps not a material we’re particularly used to when it comes to guinea pig bedding, natural linen is actually a fantastically absorbent substance that is more economical than most other options out there.

    Providing a loose layer of 3-5 cm of soft, dry basing, Bunny Bed O’Linum is fantastic for spot cleaning, allowing you to extend your deep clean sessions to a fortnight at a time, simply by exchanging soiled patches for fresh linen!

    It’s also one of the more reliable options for soaking up ammonia, which is the cause for the pungent stench of urine. This means your piggy enclosure will remain relatively odour free for some time.

    Cleaned five times to remove dust, it biodegrades incredibly quickly and so for all you eco-warriors, it’s fantastic bedding to throw straight onto your compost heap!

    And with a 30% better ammonia absorption rate than hemp, it may well be the bedding of the future!

    Features

    • Stays dry for 14 days!
    • Biodegradable for compost!
    • 30% better absorption than hemp!

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 37 x 9 x 50 cm
    • Size: 30L
    • Type: Natural Linen

    3.
    Carefresh Small Pet Bedding

    One of the originators of guinea pig-safe wood pulp bedding, CareFRESH is the first bedding pioneer to construct their material from reclaimed virgin cellulose (an organic substance found in plant cells).

    This makes it a perfectly natural and biodegradable option and ensures freedom from nasty wood shaving contaminants such as pine and cedar oils.

    The material itself is ultra-clean and absorbent, providing a natural living environment for guineas to burrow and nest in, while also boasting extra-long bleached fibres for an ultimate soft and cosy feel!

    A cost-efficient option, CareFresh is also long-lasting bedding which requires fewer changes.

    For us, it’s the safest bedding available, meaning you can rest easy that your ickle pipsqueaks are prospering in a dust-free, oil-free zone!

    Features

    • Dust free & hypoallergenic
    • Pine & cedar oil free
    • Promotes natural burrowing behaviour

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 37 x 9 x 50 cm
    • Size: 10L, 14L, 50L, 60L
    • Type: Wood Pulp

    4.
    GuineaDad Fleece Liner

    If your guinea pig is going to be living in an indoor enclosure, it’s vital you consider a fleece liner bedding over any other, as it’s likely to save you money, time and cleaning up a whole load of mess!

    These GuineaDad liners are the best selling brand of fleece bedding and are one of the most trusted amongst guinea pig parents!

    First of all, fleece bedding like this gives the complete guarantee of zero dust, meaning you never have to fret or worry about respiratory issues. But where it really shines is when it comes to cleaning and cost.

    Although the upfront cost of fleece is slightly more expensive, once you’ve bought one, you’re set for life!

    The mattress-like style makes spot cleaning for faeces a breeze and the three layers ensure ultimate absorption of urine!

    These are: A moisture-wicking fleece topper that dries quickly to prevent bacteria build-up, a bamboo fibre centre which provides absorption, anti-odour and anti-bacterial qualities and a waterproof backing which stops water leaking through to the floor!

    Then all you need to do is regularly wash it in your machine 2-3 times a week, to save yourself a load of cleaning up time and money on fresh bedding!

    Features

    • Three layers of protection!
    • Save on cleaning time
    • Cost-effectively washable!

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 26.4 x 12 x 11.8 cm (C&C 2x1)
    • Size: C&C 2x1, C&C 2x2
    • Type: Fleece Liner

    5.
    Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding

    Offering up some of the softest material available, paper bedding is a great choice for quick and easy cleaning, as this white paper makes spotting used litter fast and efficient.

    Small Pet Select pride themselves on creating super absorbent and soft bedding, made with unbleached paper that’s sludge free and unrecycled! This means you never have to panic about your guinea ingesting anything harmful, as great care has been taken to ensure this paper is friendly to piggy’s and gets them thriving! Delicate to their feet and eyes it’s also 99% dust-free, with no dyes or irritants!

    Great for nesting and burrowing, this paper is available in an economical and mammoth 178L size!

    Features

    • White bedding for easy spot-cleaning
    • Soft & unbleached
    • Sludge-free never recycled print

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 35.56 x 15.24 x 35.56 cm (56L)
    • Size: 56L, 178L
    • Type: Paper

    6.
    Kaytee Clean & Cozy Super Absorbent Paper Bedding

    Far and away the most trusted and beloved brand when it comes to rodents and rabbits, Kaytee always ensures your small pet gets the best of the best whether that be for enrichment or nourishment!

    It’s no surprise then that their super absorbent bedding is ideal for guinea pigs thanks to its ability to absorb 6x its weight in liquid and twice as much moisture as standard wood shavings!

    This Clean & Cozy bedding does what it says on the tin, with a soft and fluffy texture guineas will love to burrow and bury themselves in, while a 99.9% dust-free composition ensures maximum respiratory health!

    A handy purchase for pet owners, it also comes in a highly condensed 28.3L pack which expands to 85L on opening, helping you to save room!

    Clean & Cozy is made from long fibre strands to ensure better quality and absorbency, with great effort having been made to construct without chemicals, meaning it’s both safe and satisfactory when it comes to cleaning up after your messy ickle piggies!

    Features

    • Absorbs 6x its weight in liquid
    • 99% dust free
    • Condensed packaging

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 22.86 x 30.48 x 40.64 cm (85L)
    • Size: 12.3L, 24.6L, 49.2L, 85L
    • Type: Paper

    7.
    Back 2 Nature Small Animal Bedding

    With a name like Back 2 Nature, it’s obvious you’re going to be getting a guinea pig bedding which prides itself on pet-safe and organic materials!

    Made with no additives or chemicals, Back 2 Nature’s small pet bedding is litter pellets made from 99% recycled paper, providing a virtual dust-free composition that offers quality absorption rates.

    Naturally, odour controlling, it’s, of course, biodegradable and the paper material is long-lasting and economical, requiring less bedding for a longer amount of time.

    Although not our favourite material in terms of what it can promise, Back 2 Nature does win outright when it comes to affordability and ease.

    Because with subscription options available on Amazon, you can save up to 15% on every delivery and never forget to pick up bedding from the pet store ever again!

    Features

    • No additives or chemicals
    • 99% recycled paper
    • Biodegradable

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 48 x 35 x 10 cm
    • Size: 30L
    • Type: Paper

    8.
    Small Pet Select Aspen Bedding

    Another high-quality option from Small Pet Select, this pack of kiln-dried aspen shavings is a natural wood shaving-style bedding without any of the hassle or worry!

    Aspen shavings do not contain the same harmful oils and dust quality that pine and cedar does and it’s also recyclable and compostable!

    Taking things even further in the name of safety and pet health, Small Pet Select has also gone to great pains to ensure these aspen shavings have been taken from pure logs only rather than the dangerous fibres of reclaimed paper production, which contains detectable dioxins.

    All-natural and sludge-free, it’s our favourite wood shavings option for guinea pigs!

    Features

    • Kiln-dried
    • Recyclable & compostable
    • No sludge or reclaimed fibres

    Specifications

    • Dimensions: 48 x 35 x 10 cm
    • Size: 30L
    • Type: Paper

    Buying Guide

    Important Things To Consider

    Absorbency

    The whole reason for lining your cage is to help absorb urine quickly and efficiently.

    Without top-quality bedding, your cage will need cleaning far more regularly and your guinea pig will need lots of extra bathing sessions. Walking around on wet and damp bedding all day also tends to most commonly cause issues with the feet, including infections like bumblefoot.

    Why give yourself more work to do as well as risk making your pig ill?

    A super-absorbent material ensures guinea pigs aren’t festering in patches of moisture and are less susceptible to bad bacteria and infection. The cage will also be a lot less odorous!

    Dust-Free

    A really important aspect to get right when picking guinea pig bedding is to make sure it’s not dusty. This might not seem like a realistic issue, but if you think of a material like wood shavings and how fine and ground down it can get… dust is a very real problem that can affect guinea pigs.

    Guineas have fragile little lungs and so dusty bedding can be incredibly taxing on their respiratory system, therefore, you need to at the very least be on the lookout for bedding labelled as ‘low dust’.

    We, however, recommend trying to find items labelled as ‘dust-extracted’ as this completely lowers any risk of infections of the respiratory tract.

    Odour Control

    Urine is not a particularly clean substance and guess what? It doesn’t smell particularly great either. Bedding which promises to control odour will help make going and hanging out with your guinea pigs a pleasant experience rather than a pungent one!

    The key here is again absorbency more than anything else, so prioritise it over scents or fragrances which are more likely harmful than helpful.

    Temperature

    Consider whether your guinea pig is indoor or outdoors and how climate might affect them. Guinea pigs are sensitive to temperature and are at both risk of overheating in summer and being cold in winter. Aspen shavings and paper bedding is a great way to keep cool and fleece liners are good options for staying warm!

    Size

    Before purchasing any kind of bedding you need to work out how much you possibly need. If you have an incredibly large enclosure and spot clean daily, you’re going to need a fairly large surplus bag of bedding or an incredibly large, sweeping fleece liner!

    Comfort & Floor Type

    Bedding which boasts soft materials is always best as your guinea pig is going to be walking around on it all day!

    Also, if you have a wire-caged floor, no amount of bedding is going to help make this more comfortable for a guinea’s fit and so all bedding needs to be placed on a smooth, flat floor surface. Bedding which boasts soft materials

    Types of Guinea Pig Bedding

    The reason that choosing comfy and absorbent bedding is so hard, is because there are so many different options out there, all with their pros and cons.

    Read a bit more about these types and what they can offer to help you make your decision:

    Wood Shavings

    Used for decades by most guinea owners, wooden shavings are one of the cheapest and most commonly used types of bedding.

    However, you need to be careful when shopping for this material, as getting it wrong is easy and potentially harmful for your pet.

    Cedar and pine wood shavings are widely frowned upon by experts and should never be used on your ickle pipsqueaks, however it’s a material which often sneaks between the cracks.

    Despite having a nice, natural fresh pine smell and being fairly cheap, they’re easily the worst option for wooden shavings. These woods contain natural toxins which can make piggies ill and studies have shown they can even damage the liver!

    The only time pine shavings are acceptable is if they have been kiln-dried, which removes those harmful toxins!

    The best wooden shavings to go for though are aspen shavings as these contain no naturally harmful oil, although it’s less absorbent than kiln-dried pine!

    The thing to be most worried about when browsing wooden shavings though is how dusty they are, so always look for low dust and extracted dust options!

    Hemp Bedding (Aubiose)

    An upcoming and increasingly popular type of bedding, hemp bedding is made from natural fibres of the plant, making it one of the most organic bedding materials.

    With several layers of hemp, urine is drawn downwards from the top to the lower layers beneath. This helps keep the upper layers dry and hygienic for your piggies to muck about on!

    Although it’s essentially odourless, it’s super absorbency means smells of urine won’t linger around in the cage either.

    For us, it’s probably the best natural bedding source!

    Wood Pulp

    Often a safe alternative to wood which promises higher rates of absorption, wood pulp is derived from natural virgin wood fibres and often goes through extensive dust removal procedures.

    Paper Bedding

    Paper bedding is often a safer, softer and fluffier version of wood shavings and offers much more absorbency.

    That being said, paper bedding is not always better than wood shavings, because like with anything, not all products are created equal.

    Always check that it’s low dust, and doesn’t contain artificial colour or bleaches that are unnecessary and potentially unhealthy.

    We’d also warn you to beware of paper bedding which advertises itself as recycled or reclaimed paper. While this might seem like a brilliant eco-friendly choice, it increases the risk of this material containing toxins.

    Fleece Lining

    Coinciding with the growing popularity of keeping guinea pigs indoors rather than in outdoor hutches, fleece bedding is entirely unlike the others on this list.

    A kind of mattress like design, they feature a soft, top layer that’s comfy for guinea pig feet, an absorbent middle layer to soak up urine and a waterproof bottom, preventing it from soaking through.

    The main reason fleece bedding is so popular is because it’s cost-effective thanks to their washable material. Although slightly expensive on initial purchase, you’ll no longer have to buy monthly bags of bedding!

    They’re also free of issues like dust and are generally more aesthetically appealing, coming in different patterns and colours!

    However, despite being less messy and easier to manage, it does require a bit more daily cleaning, as obviously urine and faeces sit a bit more obvious on the liner.

    Pellet, Hay, Newspaper (Other)

    Pellet and hay options are both poor absorbers and so these days they are one of the least popular choices of bedding, however, they remain a cheap option on the market.

    An even cheaper choice some owners make is to use newspapers, something we all still seem to have lying around despite the growth of online news!

    Admittedly these options will save you a pretty penny, but ultimately, the lack of absorbency is just inviting mould and bacteria. If you want the best for your guinea pigs, you have to buy them the best and cheap options like this are low-cost for a reason!

    Natural Bedding

    Keeping up with all the new types of guinea pig bedding is almost impossible these days as companies are always rushing to find an all-new material which is more absorbent or more eco-friendly than any other.

    Some of our current favourites such as Bunny Bed for example are made from recycled linen, a material that isn’t exactly common in use. For anything like this, just be sure to read the label and make sure this too good to be true new material really is just that.

    More often than not they will focus on natural material and provided you can be sure it’s not dusty or toxic to guinea pigs, feel free to take advantage of any purported advances in absorption or odour control!

    Bedding To Avoid

    To be more clear about the bedding you need to avoid, here are cage and hutch linings generally deemed to be unsuitable:

    • Sawdust
    • Cat litter
    • Non-kiln-dried pine shavings
    • Cedar shavings
    • Newspaper (on its own)
    • Puppy pads or training pads for cats/dogs

    Best Bedding For Enclosure Type (Indoor or Outdoor)

    In terms of indoor guinea pigs, any kind of bedding is fine, with most owners opting for fleece or paper options as they create slightly less mess inside the home.

    Due to its odour control, some may also opt for hemp, as no one wants a home that smells of pee!

    However, when it comes to kitting out a classic outdoor hutch, we recommend going for a slightly more classic setup. Fleece liners do not fare well in outdoor conditions as they’re inability to absorb faeces attracts flies! Instead, a combination of shavings and bedding hay which can provide warmth.

    Other Buyers Ask...

    What type of guinea pig bedding is best?

    Without a doubt, the best guinea pig bedding type is fleece lining, as it is so much less mess than using substrates. It’s also the comfiest for piggy feet and a simple washing machine jobby to get cleaned!

    However, fleece lining is undoubtedly only a great choice if your guinea pig is in an indoor enclosure.

    So if your piggy is a hutch dweller, we’re more likely to suggest a hemp bedding. Popular with horses, it’s fragrance-free, odourless and an incredibly clever absorber that protects pipsqueak feet and keeps things cleaner for longer.

    Is guinea pig bedding compostable?

    Whether your bedding is compostable or not depends completely on what type you’ve bought.

    In general, you’ll want to make sure that the product you’ve selected is natural and biodegradable. This will only ever be materials like wood shavings, paper and straw, but even then you need to read labels carefully to ensure they are from a safe and trusted source.

    Is hay suitable for guinea pig bedding?

    Guinea pigs always seem to be given regular access to hay by their owners, so it’s understandable to assume that it’s a source of bedding.

    However, although hay/bedding hay is fantastic for keeping guinea’s warm and something to nibble on, it just isn’t absorbent enough. This means on its own, hay isn’t going to effectively help cleaning or prevent build-ups of bacteria and smell!