The Best Bedding for Rats - iPetCompanion

Best Bedding to Buy For Rats

Finding the best bedding for rats is extremely important for their health and well-being. The material chosen should be easily replaceable so that bacteria in the stool and ammonia buildup do not contaminate the air in which the rat breathes. It is good to choose a bedding material that your rat is not allergic to. You will have to test a few types to find the best bedding for rats. Some common ones might turn out to be harmful to bring up a reaction. Plain jersey or towel cloth is probably the best bet to be used as bedding in place of the common ones. However, here are some options to help you select the best bedding for rats.

The Best Bedding for Rats: Our Top Picks

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Bedding

BEST overall

  • Highly absorbent
  • Easy to maintain

Rated by: Amber

Carefresh Small Animal Bedding

BEST finger brush

  • Comfortable
  • Highly absorbent
  • Fully compostable

Rated by: Amber

FiberCore Eco-Bedding

Best bristly brush

  • Free of dust
  • Easy to use
  • Biodegradable

Rated by: Amber

1. Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Bedding

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

Knowing for delivering high quality products in the pet industry, this rat bedding from Kaytee will surely serve you well.  It's people's favorite, as it works well not just for rats but for other small pets as well, including guinea pig and more. Made of soft paper, it provides your rat with a nice comfortable bedding where they can nest.

The produce meets the FDA standards and safe to use. Quite like other top quality paper-based bedding, it works nice in terms of absorbing the fluids. It's capable of absorbing twice as much moisture as wood shavings can. Therefore, your rat's cage will be dry, clean, and odor less at the same time.

The manufacturers guarantee that the bedding is 99.99% dust-free, which means your pet won't develop respiratory issues and you'll find it easier to maintain everything. It's available white color, so you'll be quick to identify any soiled areas, which tells you when to change the bedding.

Overall, it's one outstanding choice for pet bedding, but you need to bear in mind that its price may be a bit on the higher side as compared to other recycled paper beddings on the market.


  • It's highly absorbent
  • It's easy to maintain
  • It's dust-free


  • It's a bit expensive

2. Carefresh Small Animal Bedding

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

It's yet another interesting bedding choice for your small pet, especially when he loves burrowing. The material is comfortable and oft to walk on, so there's no need to worry about causing any harm to your rat's small paws.

In terms of absorption, you won't face any issue whatsoever. As compared to its weight, it's three times more absorbent, which is impressive and helps maintain a cleaner environment.  It also controls odors quite effectively, so you won't have to deal with a stinky cage at any time.

Another good thing is that the bedding is made using organic materials, which is why it's easy to compost it easily after use. The only thing you might need to worry about is that because it's highly absorbent, it might require regular replacements, which can be a bit costly.


  • It's plus and comfortable for rats
  • It's high absorbent
  • It's fully compostable


  • It may prove a bit expensive over time

3. FiberCore Eco-Bedding

Quick Summary

Rated by: Amber

It's a good natural bedding choice for your pet, which is extremely comfortable to use and safe even for rather sensitive pets. It contains a variety of allergy-reducing elements, so your pet will always be safe and sound.

Another good thing is that this bedding option is free of dust and entirely non-toxic, and it will go a long way towards maintaining a cleaner cage environment.  The bedding is also biodegradable, so it's safe to use in your home and is easy to discard after use. Moreover, you can make the crinkle paper a lot more fluffy, if you want it to be even more comfortable and suitable for burrowing.

Overall, it looks like a great option for small pet owners, but keep in mind that it can be a bit messy to use it if your pets love to burrow.


  • It's free of dust
  • It's simple to fluff
  • It's completely biodegradable


  • It's hard to spot clean

FAQ - A Buyer's Guide

Picking the best rats bedding is never easy, especially if you're a first time owner. Keeping your rat comfortable should be your top priority, which is why you have to conduct research regarding best bedding rats. Rat owners often get blinded by the fact that they have to change the bedding so often, which is why they should opt for the cheapest bedding type for their small animals. That shouldn't be the case with you or else you'll notice your beloved pet develop serious health issues over time. Here's what rat owners should remember when comparing different types of bedding to create a perfect living environment for their small animals.

What Do You Put at the Bottom of a Rat Cage?

Whether setting up a cage or just looking for the best bedding for rats, it's important to understand that they're creatures of habit. They sure like to roam around when they are not sleeping. Your rat will be happiest when he has ample space to do so. In the pursuit to stay active, rats also like to dig and chase interesting odors. The cage should be designed and the best rat bedding should be chosen keeping this in mind.

If the cage has some stuff to play with, that’s even better for keeping the rat busy. Small toys can be used to create a miniature play land setting. Shelves and tubes similar to drainpipes let the rats enjoy a lot as they can spend their time running through them. Objects with the option to climb on like ropes, twigs, and cloth swings are also appealing. Ideally, the rat habitat should have stuff at different levels for climbing.

However, interesting glass boxes may seem, they are not that suitable as the material of the rat cage. Glass wall doesn’t allow ventilation up to the mark which may pose lung infections or breathing troubles for the rat. Also, air ventilation is important for proper sanitation of the rat territory.

Before you start looking for the rat bedding, make sure the sleeping area is snug and safe in the form of cozy nests. The safety of the cage is crucial so that no other pets of the house can get inside it. Similarly, the rat should also not be able to leave the zone.

What Do Rats Like to Sleep in?

There are a number of options available online to choose as bedding for rats, or you can buy it directly from a pet store. What you end up with is important in ways more than one. You should consider every aspect of the cage before buying the rat bedding. Also, the chosen bedding material needs to be checked if it is suitable and safe for the rat or not. For instance, if the cage has a wired floor, then it needs to be covered with something flat and firm causing no trouble for the rat.

Features of Bedding Material

There are different options available for bedding for rats, including paper bedding, but make sure to weigh their pros and cons to select the best type of bedding for your beloved pet. Here's a bit about different types of bedding currently available on the market.

Pine and Cedar Bedding

Both Pine and cedar have been the preferred choice for rat cage bedding as they have a high level of absorbency for rat piss which keeps the aroma of the rat cage in check. Furthermore, they come with natural insect repellents that keep other microbes at bay.

The disadvantage of using these wooden beddings is that rats can become prone to severe respiratory problems if they keep on inhaling pine and cedar oils for an extended period. That is why non-irritating wood chips should be used as bedding for rats, as the selection of pine and cedar wood chips is harmful to rats.

Aspen Bedding

If you desire to go with wood bedding then aspen is the preferred choice. Firstly, it is not hard like cedar or pine wood. Secondly, it has no lethal substances and hence safe to use. Aspen bedding is formulated to remove harmful dirt and big pieces of wood.

Aspen may not be as absorbent as other common beddings and may fall short in terms of odor control, but its level of absorbency is just right to infuse rat piss so that the cage remains spotless and smelling just fine.

The shortfall of this rat bedding is that aspen can be dug easily and rats take no time in sensing that, hence things can turn sloppy in the cage after a while. Also, depending on the brand you buy, the wood shreds may differ in mass. If you end up buying very small bits of wood, then a dusty cloud of sawdust will show its annoying presence both in the cage and in your house, when you place the bedding in the cage.

Just remember it's not completely dust free and, again, the dust particles will be an unwelcome irritant both for you as well as your rat as they can lead to serious respiratory infections. Sawdust of wood shavings is not a good idea as they can mess with the respiratory system causing trouble in inhalation of rats.

Cloth or Fleece Bedding

As some conventional ways can never feel dated, in the same way, some rat owners like to fold a good old clean cloth and place it strategically to cover the area of the rat cage floor. The material can be fleece, cotton, or any other cloth with no synthetic fibers. This method is especially suitable for a small animal with a history of allergic reactions to other materials.

However, the cloth can be old but it should be in one piece with no holes and worn out edges so that it serves as a smooth base for your rat’s cage and perform well as the best bedding.

Corn Cob Bedding

Steer clear of the corn cob bedding, as it can be toxic for your rat and may turn into a big mess for you. Owing to its plant characteristics, the corncob starts to decay with humidity, and fungus can easily set in. It fails miserably when it comes to odor control.

As it is the nature of rats to chew everything, they might get in trouble after devouring a rotten cob of corn. While corncobs can safely be considered as food for your small animal but they should never be used as the bedding for their cage.

Cat Litter

Using cat litter as rat bedding, especially the one with clomps, is another idea that has more disadvantages than advantages. True, cat litter can be used to help with odor control, but remember that cats can deal with their litter as they are strong-lunged creatures.

If you may think of putting bedding of cat litter in the cage, the odor will be too much for rats to handle, as they have weak respiratory systems. Secondly, cat litter may bring in dust particles with it which again, are unsuitable for your small animal.

Last but not the least, no one can stop these rats to give up on taking a bite of their cat-litter bedding, making them susceptible to stomach related problems and falling ill.

Can You Use Paper Bedding for Rats?

Of course, you can.

Because of being available at a low price, shredded paper bedding is used most commonly in rat cages. Being recycled paper, this bedding has a tougher quality and is high on absorbency and safety.

Also, the variety of options lets you choose the one most suited to the rat cage. However, to avoid any unforeseen reactions, it is better to choose light and plain colored paper, and avoid patterned, printed, or bleached textures.

While paper bedding may be the best bedding for rats, always remember that it will quickly absorb rat piss turning the cellulose strands of the paper to slop subsequently.

Is Aspen Bedding Safe for Rats?

In general, Aspen bedding is safe for your rat, and may work better than recycled paper bedding. It's not dust free though, which may be a concern. However, if you're looking for the best bedding, you should always check different options for the following features.

Stink Control and Absorbency

The best rat cage bedding is the one that absorbs the most moisture either caused by rat piss or accidental water spills so that the cage always stays as dry as possible.

The cage being dry is important as it prevents the spread of unwanted materials like germs and fungi. It also lessens the spread of foul stinks making the atmosphere better. As a result, you will not have to change the cage bedding repeatedly and the overall air of your house will stay fresher and untainted.

No added scents

The lesser the exposure of your rat is to chemicals, the better will be its quality of life. In the same context, always choose bedding which has no fragrances and added scents. Even so that natural oils on some beddings can also take a toll on the weak respiratory system of the rats, thus fragrance-free bedding should be chosen.

Free of dust

Rats cannot give up the inborn habit of chewing the bedding. This makes the choice of bedding even more crucial, as whatever they swallow is going to affect them sooner or later. For this reason, cage bedding should be free of dust, or one that doesn’t attract dust, allowing the rat to live a healthy life in the cage.

Furthermore, the lesser dust there is on the bedding, the lesser will be the time you will have to spend in cleaning or changing it. 

Buying in bulk

Once you are sure about the materials that suit your rat, it is good to buy the cage bedding in bulk. This way you won’t have to purchase every time you want to change the bedding. And you will be able to avail discounts on bulk buying also.

Be sure to check for these features, and you may want to an affiliate advertising site where people earn advertising fees and provide a means for those interested in doing some research to pick the best rat bedding. They use linking to Amazon as a way to make money but they still share valuable information to help decide between paper, aspen, and wood bedding for your beloved pet.

The Best Bedding for Rats to Buy

It all comes down to the fact that you need to make sure the bedding for rats is suitable for the type of cage you have. Know they require different level of maintenance and may cost different depending on the type of bedding you buy. If you're confused, you may want to put your money on Carefresh Small Animal Bedding, which is easy to fluff and safer to use. Give it a go!

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