A huge part of owning guinea pigs is taking time to learn about their health, needs, and personalities. On top of needing toys to enrich their time spent in a cage, they also need to have the best bedding for guinea pigs so that they can play and sleep comfortably.
While you could simply buy the cheapest option you see available in the store, it is important for your guinea pig’s health and happiness that you chose something that is actually beneficial for them. Today, we’ll introduce the top five bedding options for guinea pigs alongside a selection guide that will help you end up with the best option for your pet. Let’s get to it!
The Kaytee Super Sleeper is a soft, fleece bed that can be put on top of loose bedding to give your pet something special to snuggle up.
The best thing about this bed is how easy it is to set it up. All you have to do is put it in their cage, and your pet will be sure to start loving it. You can wash it in the machine, and it comes with straps so that you can secure it in place.
With the Kaytee Super Sleeper's open nature, your guinea pig will have to get more used to interacting with humans. If you have a shy pet, this could be a good way to help them become more used to being around people with little or no fear of upsetting them. They can still crawl underneath it if they want to!
Another good thing about this particular bed is that it is super easy to clean. All you have to do is take it out, shake it off, and toss it in the washer and dryer. Also, it will last through many washes.
Finally, it’s a great size for one or two guinea pigs. If you have a bonded pair, they may enjoy squeezing into this bed together to get some sleep.
One big drawback of this particular type of bedding is that wood and paper bedding will stick to it, and that can make the easy-to-clean factor of this bed less easy. You will need to shake off or remove paper bedding that gets stuck before washing it, or you could actually end up damaging your washer. Still, this isn’t too difficult to do.
Another drawback is that you cannot select which color you are sent, but the product may be sent in a number of nice colors including green, grey, pink, blue, and black.
Next up is a soft, foam-free bed that is available in three different sizes. It stands out for its waterproof bottom and washable exterior.
The Ware Manufacturing Safari Sleeper is available in multiple sizes, so you can easily get the right fit for one or two of your guinea pigs. Additionally, it has a waterproof bottom that will help keep it clean. The foam-free bed can be put through both the washer and the dryer, so keeping it clean is easier than ever before.
While some soft beds get lots of paper bedding stuck to them, this bed does not have that problem. Since the fuzz is less dramatic, less paper will be stuck, so it’s super easy to clean. Just toss it in the washer and voila!
The water-resistant lining on the bottom of the bed is a nice touch. Although your guinea pig will still likely use the bed as a bathroom sometimes, having the lining on the bottom keeps it dry for a more extended period of time even if the bed is sitting on damp bedding before you can change it.
Another great thing about this particular bed is its durability. Even after it goes through the wash many times, you’ll find that this bed holds up well. This can make a big difference since your pet will get used to having it around, so you want them to be able to use it for a long time.
Your pet is more likely to want this bed to be flipped over and to hide under it than to sleep in it. But that’s okay, isn’t it? The key is that your pet gets some joy out of having the bed around.
Once again, you don’t necessarily get to choose the color when ordering this bed. If you want to get a specific color scheme, you may want to look elsewhere to find a bed that will fit with your plans.
Fleece has become one of the most popular cage liners in recent years, and this is one of the best fleece options on the market today.
This reversible fleece cage liner is large and can be bought in a number of colors so that you can mix and match what type of look you want in your pets' cage. The superabsorbent liner is easy to clean, and all it needs is a weekly washing and daily spot vacuuming. With this little bit of care, you can keep your pets' cage super clean.
The fleece lining is reversible, so you can have two different designs in one product. This is nice for those who like to coordinate what the cage looks like for their own pleasure.
Another benefit of these liners is that they are super absorbent, but they stay dry. All you need to do to keep things clean is to vacuum up any droppings from the top of it every day. Then, wash the whole thing once a week to keep everything odor-free and tidy.
One problem with using fleece is that it can be too hot for summer or warm days. During these seasons, you may want to consider using a cooler loose bedding instead.
Another drawback of this type of fleece bedding is that some guinea pigs just hate it! When they can see their poo or pee piled up on the fleece, they may hide all day instead of being willing to come out into their cage. This isn’t good for them, so if your pig reacts like this you may want to look for another product instead.
This pine bedding is what comes to the mind of many people when they think guinea pig or other small pet bedding, and there’s a good reason for that. Let’s take a closer look.
This pine bedding is enough to do two to three cage cleanings for even a relatively large cage, so you get a good value. The bedding is 99.9% dust-free and specifically made for small animals, so you won’t find any volatile chemicals in it that could cause health problems to your pet.
A little goes a long way with this product. While the bag seems small, it is packed in tight. This means that you can get multiple changes to your pet’s cage done with one bag.
The exact number of changes will be largely dependent on the size of the cage, but it’s still a value-driven product in this respect. Another plus of this bedding is that there is not too much dust in it, which would be good for your pet’s health. When you first open the bag, you may notice some dust, but the product doesn’t generate much when it’s in use.
Since the pieces of bedding are so small and light, they can easily be kicked out of the cage and onto the floor by your pet's normal activity. This may not occur depending on your cages setup, but it is something that you should be aware of.
Another potential problem with regards to the actual size of the pieces in this bedding is that they can break down easily and begin to lump together. This type of lumping can generate smells, so you may need to remove lumps like this quickly.
This paper bedding is at least four times better at absorbing liquid than wood shavings. This makes it possible to spot clean for longer without having to do a full change.
This super absorbent product is great for more than just its absorption powers; it is also incredibly soft, making it a fun place for your guinea pig to snuggle up. Additionally, this product has odor-fighting properties, which means that as long as you do proper upkeep, there is less smell produced that might annoy you and your pet.
Since the shavings are so absorbent, you can do spot cleaning for up to four days before doing a full cage change of the paper shavings. This makes it easier than ever before to keep things clean and orderly.
The shavings also have great absorbing properties, so you don't have to worry about urine and poop smell. Another great thing about this product is that it generates little to no dust. Even when they are enjoying playing and digging in the bed, there isn’t much dust generated, so you feel good as they are safe with what they are playing and sleeping in.
One problem with this product is the inconsistent quality that it sometimes has. At times, it will be very soft and fluffy. At other times, it will be more like dull, shredded paper that your pet won’t enjoy digging into as much. Since this is a quality control issue, you should be able to make a return if faced with this problem, but that can still be inconvenient.
There are hundreds of different bedding options out there for guinea pigs and other small mammals. Figuring out the differences between these options can be complicated and confusing, so we’ve written up a brief guide that will help you make the right selection when choosing between the various types.
It’s important to note before we get into the guide that every guinea pig will have personal preferences as well, so you may find that the bedding you want to use doesn’t seem to be working. That’s okay! Try a new one when it's time to change out bedding, and you’ll eventually find the perfect fit for your guinea pig.
Now, let’s learn about the different factors that you should consider when making your selections.
Guinea pig beddings of all different types are available in a range of colors. Most people are accustomed to seeing tan colored shavings in pet beds, but having a tan bedding material is not a requirement. That being said, it is helpful to you as an owner to have a light colored bedding when possible.
When the bedding is light in color, it gets easier to see when the bedding is wet and needs to be changed. Most bedding material is made to be absorbent, so you need to be able to tell the difference between slightly used and need-to-be-changed bedding. A light colored bedding that will get darker with use is one way to make this separation.
Besides that, you can simply choose whatever color bedding you find to be most appropriate for your pet. The key here is more than color; it’s comfort. So, while color is an important factor, it is far from the most important one. Keep it in mind, but don’t let the color of the bedding restrict you from choosing an option that you like.
Size is important in a few different ways depending on the type of bedding that you are investing in for your guinea pig. If you are looking for a loose bedding to fill their cage with, you will want to have at least four times the amount of bedding needed to fill their cage with a thick but loosely packed layer at all times. Since most guinea pig cages will need their loose bedding changed at least two times a week, having that much available makes it easy to do cleanup work.
If, on the other hand, you are looking at fleece or other beddings that are simply for your pet to sleep and play in, you want to choose something that is only about twice as large as your pet at a maximum. Guinea pigs like to snuggle up in a snug environment, so anything larger than this will not be comfortable for them to sleep in. So, choose a snug-fitting bed.
Size is something that is very reliant on your pet. If your pet is still growing, we recommend sticking to loose bedding for the time being because your pet can dig out their own snug sleeping area. Once they are fully grown, you can consider getting them a more permanent bedding option to add to their cage.
Finding the right material for your pet can be complicated because there are a number of different options that are commonly used as guinea pig bedding. In this section, we will run through the most popular bedding material options, and let you know why they do or do not work well for guinea pigs.
Many new guinea pig owners like the idea of using shredded paper as bedding because of how cost effective it can be. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst bedding options. The paper does not do a great job of absorbing liquid without becoming very wet, so it does not make for a good living environment and needs to be changed out on a nearly constant basis.
Fleece is a popular option because of its absorbent yet soft qualities that many guinea pigs seem to love. It’s a good option for many owners. Fleece needs to be cleaned up a few times daily if you want it to be clean for your pet to use, and not everyone is ready for this commitment.
It’s very easy to lift out, shake off, and wash, but doing so regularly may become exhausting for some owners. Our suggestion is to use fleece in combination with loose bedding. Using a fleece layer underneath the heavy solid area where your guinea pig will eat and drink is a good option as it can be easily removed and cleaned while your pet is not using that area.
All-in-all, you should only use fleece if you are ready to clean it regularly and pay close attention to when the fleece becomes soiled as fleece can absorb a lot of things and become a smelly, unsanitary mess in no time if you are not careful. Plus, guinea pigs love to sleep on something as soft as fleece.
Some store-made paper beddings are frequently used by guinea pig owners. These products are very absorbent but also more expensive, but you know that they will work. The big drawback of using these products is that they never look as clean as some other bedding options, but it works very well as a top layer of bedding in the cage.
Wood shavings made from things like pine and aspen are popular among guinea pig owners. While pine shavings are the least expensive, they may be damaging to your pet’s liver, so they’re best avoided for the more expensive aspen shavings instead.
Wood shavings are gentle on your pet’s feet while being very absorbent, which makes them a good option if you don’t want to have to change out your bedding too frequently.
While the pellets can be hard for guinea pigs to walk on, using wood pellets as the bedding base is one of the best options. They tend to be very absorbent and easy to replace. Make sure that you choose 100% wood pellets that do not have any accelerant in them, or you could accidentally introduce a dangerous substance into your pet’s environment.
Every guinea pig is different, and this means that every guinea pig will need a different setup. If your pet knows how to use a litter box (yes, guinea pigs can learn how to!) or has a tendency to get infections, you’ll want to change their bedding set up a little bit.
Guinea pigs that are prone to infections will do better with an ever drier environment than a normal pet. Setting up dry tiles underneath layers of beddings will help remove some moisture. If your pet would be litter trained, setting up a bathroom area that combines hay, wood pellets, and other bedding material for them to use as a bathroom will be key to making a separation between where they sleep and where they do not.
The point is that you need to work with your pet, not against them, to create the most successful environment that will keep them happy and healthy.
There are a number of bedding brands that have become well-known for their guinea pig specific products. While you do not have to buy a product strictly from these brands, some people are more comfortable with a brand name than an unknown company since you have more assurances of the product's safety.
The most well-known brand when it comes to guinea pig bedding is CareFresh. They make a variety of loose bedding options from wood shavings to softer paper bedding that you may want to try for your guinea pig.
Their bedding is known to be natural, super absorbent, and even odor fighting. This means that you can keep your pet’s cage fresh-smelling and healthy by simply using the right bedding from CareFresh. That being said, buying a brand name product can get expensive over time, so think about this carefully.
Most guinea pig loose bedding options do not have a warranty included, but you can often get some type of money-back guarantee on fabric-made products such as fleece pads and small, round beds.
If you are buying a bed in addition to loose bedding for your guinea pig, pay close attention to whether or not there are any available warranties. If your pet has a bad reaction to the bedding or the bedding breaks quickly, this type of warranty could save you some extra money.
Now that we’ve gathered up information on the variety of beddings that are available for guinea pigs, you’re probably wondering which setups are most preferred for guinea pigs. There are a few different setups that seem to work best, and these are some favorites that are tested and true for some guinea pig owners:
As you can see, there’s a lot of different combinations of bedding materials that you can do. The key is that you need a very absorbent layer on the bottom, a fluffy absorbent layer in the middle, and a soft layer that the guinea pig will be comfortable on at the top. Beyond that, the specifics are up to you as long as they do not harm your pet.
Beyond bedding, you may be wondering what else should go into your guinea pig’s cage. Let’s talk about some more specifics.
Using a large cage is necessary and beneficial when you have a guinea pig. It’s easy to create the right cage size for them, and having a large cage will help with both odor control and with your pet’s happiness. When choosing a cage, make sure that any wire grid used is no bigger than ½” in size. Anything larger than this could actually allow your pet to get stuck inside and cause them serious injury or even death.
Having towels in the cage can help keep things cleaner. Loose long hair and other debris will stick to the towels, and your guinea pig may lay on them instead of in the bedding which will keep them clean as well.
Your cage should include a water bottle and a heavy-bottomed container for feeding. It needs to be heavy on the bottom so that your pig cannot easily knock it over!
In addition to the necessities outlined above, you also want to give your pigs something to play with when you aren’t playing with them. Hammocks, cat toys with bells, and non-toxic bird toys are all good options to give them something to amuse themselves with when they are in the cage.
It has already been mentioned a few times, but using hay as a top layer in their cage is a great idea. First, you can easily remove any damp hay daily, and you will not have to change the entire bedding as frequently because of this. Second, the pig will munch on the hay all day long, and guinea pigs are always happy when they are eating.
Guinea pigs like to curl up on something that is soft and dry. There are a lot of different options, but the most popular sleeping options for guinea pigs include:
If possible, include all of these things in your guinea pigs' cage setup. They will move things around how they want to, and you’ll be able to see what they like to sleep on. They may even sleep on different things depending on the day and the temperature.
To summarize, here are the best material types that you can use for bedding:
There are a few other options out there as well, but these are the best choices available to you and your pet for a happy and healthy life together.
Our favorite bed for your guinea pig is the Kaytee Super Sleeper Cuddle-E-Cup because of its soft and warm exterior, as well as its size that can fit more than one guinea pig and the ease of washing it.
Still, you cannot use it without any other material, so we recommend pairing it with an affordable loose bedding such as the Kaytee Pine Bedding to make the most comfortable playing and sleeping arrangement for your special pet.