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10 Best Hamster Bedding For Burrowing In 2023: Reviews & Top Picks


Feb 8, 2023
hamster on bedding


Finding the perfect bedding for your hamster can be tricky since hundreds of products are now available. Advances in small animal care have shown us the best (and worst) bedding types, and there are loads of excellent options to choose from. So, which is best?

We’ve researched several types of hamster bedding, so you can see exactly which brand is the absolute best for burrowing. You can examine our reviews of the 10 best hamster bedding products that are perfect for burrowing below and pick your hamster’s new digs!


A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023

The 10 Best Hamster Bedding For Burrowing

1. Carefresh Small Animal Bedding, White – Best Overall

Carefresh Small Animal Bedding

Made in: United States
Bolding Type: Paper
Feature: Eco-friendly
Odor Control?: Yes

Carefresh Small Animal Bedding is a naturally reclaimed paper-based bedding that provides everything that owners need for their hamsters. Paper fiber is not only biodegradable and compostable, but it’s also virtually dust-free, making it perfect for burrowing and nest-building. If your hamster loves to burrow, it’ll need dry and comfy bedding to do it in: the Carefresh bedding provides exactly that, and it’s proven to be two times more absorbent than wood shavings. The reviews speak for themselves with this bedding; its value, odor control, and comfort make it our pick for best overall hamster bedding for burrowing in 2022.

  • Odor control for up to 10 days
  • Virtually dust-free
  • Absorbent and comfortable
  • Some packages have an odor
  • Not as soft as some other bedding

2. Frisco Small Animal Bedding – Best Value

Frisco Small Animal Bedding

Made in: United States
Bolding Type: Paper
Feature: 99.9% dust-free, absorbent
Odor Control?: No

Frisco Small Animal Bedding is a basic material that does the job but does it very well. This paper-based bedding packs a punch, expanding up to three times its size once unpackaged and holding six times its weight in liquid! Any urine your busy hamster releases while burrowing will be drawn away, keeping them dry and comfortable.

The bedding doesn’t have odor control and requires a bit of spreading to get it soft, but it’s 99.9% dust-free to protect your hamster’s respiratory system and keep your home clean. The absorbent quality and affordable price make the Frisco bedding the best hamster bedding for burrowing for the money.

  • 99.9% dust free
  • Absorbent
  • Expands up to three times its packaged size
  • No specific odor control
  • Needs to be thoroughly separated by hand

3. Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Litter Box & Cage Small Animal Bedding – Premium Choice

Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Litter Box & Cage Small Animal Bedding

Made in: United States
Bolding Type: Paper
Feature: Odor control, Eco-friendly
Odor Control?: Yes

The Vitakraft Fresh World bedding is perfect for comfortable, absorbent burrowing thanks to its unique “crumble” texture. These pieces are all made from 100% recycled paper and are ideal for tunneling and nest building thanks to the baking soda-free formula. While there aren’t any color variations available, the bedding still performs amazingly and can expand up to three times its size for maximum absorbency.

A strong odor-control formula keeps cages fresh for up to 14 days (with proper spot cleaning), and while the reviews state the bedding has a faint odor, it’s 99.5% dust free, making it perfect for hamsters’ delicate respiratory systems. This bedding is pricier than others reviewed, but its premium feel and odor control make it worth it.

  • Odor control for up to 14 days
  • 99.5% dust free
  • 100% recycled paper
  • Faint odor
  • More expensive than other brands

4. Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding

Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding

Made in: United States
Bolding Type: Paper
Feature: Eco-friendly, FDA approved
Odor Control?: Yes

The Kaytee Clean & Cozy bedding is a comfy, absorbent bedding that is excellent for playtime and snoozing. The 99% dust-free formula is ideal for hamsters burrowing, and the FDA-approved paper protects against odor and moisture. This paper bedding guarantees 20% more absorbency than other leading brands and holds up to four times its weight in liquid!

Kaytee Clean & Cozy has a white color and no scent. However, some customers mentioned that the bedding was a little dusty when removed from the package. Also, this product is not recommended if your hamster likes to eat its bedding.

  • FDA-approved paper
  • Absorbs up to four times its weight in moisture
  • Odor control
  • Can be dusty when removed from the package
  • Kaytee state not recommended for Hamsters that eat bedding

5. Back-2-Nature Small Animal Bedding

Back-2-Nature Small Animal Bedding

Made in: United Kingdom
Bolding Type: Paper
Feature: 99% recycled paper, no additives or chemicals
Odor Control?: Yes

The Back 2 Nature small animal bedding is one of the best for those who want to ensure their hamster’s safety and comfort and prefer materials that are easy to clean. The paper pellets are smaller than some other brands but are comfortable to walk on, dig in, and sleep on. They’re made from 99% recycled paper that’s both biodegradable and virtually dust free.

No added chemicals make their way into the Back 2 Nature bedding, and its pellet shape gives the odor control a helping hand by preventing the spread of urine from tracking. The bags are smaller, however, and a fair amount is needed to provide adequate burrowing depth. We love this bedding for its simplicity and effectiveness, and it’s a good option for hamster owners who want eco-friendly bedding that keeps its shape.

  • Dust-free
  • Highly absorbent
  • Comfortable
  • Not as cost-effective as other brands
  • Smaller pellet size

6. Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding

Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding

Made in: United States
Bolding Type: Paper
Feature: Ultra soft
Odor Control?: Yes

This bedding is made to be ultra soft and extra absorbent and absorbs up to 800% of its weight in moisture to ensure comfort and cleanliness. Oxbow’s Pure Comfort bedding is made with paper that’s never been printed, keeping it 99.9% dust free and extra soft.

Small particles are minimized to keep your home free of dust when unpackaging, and the bedding can expand to 250% of its packaged volume. It doesn’t have an odor and is unbleached, but because of the fine paper, it can get stuck to your hamster’s fur when burrowing and can clump when wet.

  • Expands by 250%
  • Unbleached, never printed on paper
  • Ultra-soft and absorbent
  • Can clump when wet
  • Small flakes can stick to hamster fur

7. Kaytee Clean & Cozy Extreme Odor Control Bedding

Kaytee Clean & Cozy Extreme Odor Control Bedding

Made in: United States
Bolding Type: Paper
Feature: 99.9% dust free
Odor Control?: Yes

Kaytee’s other offering, Clean and Cozy Extreme Odor Control, is focused on odor control. It provides a 14-day odor control guarantee for small animals, including hamsters. The bedding can absorb twice the liquid that wood shavings can, keeping your hamster’s cage dry, comfortable, and smelling fresh.

The formula is 99.9% dust-free for respiratory comfort, and the paper is soft and fluffy to encourage burrowing. This bedding isn’t expandable and is more costly, making it less cost-effective than some other products we reviewed. Some reviews also questioned the 14-day guarantee, stating that the odor control wasn’t up to scratch.

  • Odor control guarantee for up to 14 days
  • 99.9% dust-free
  • Twice as absorbent as wood shavings
  • Non-expandable bedding
  • More costly
  • Some customers found odor control lacking

8. Small Pet Select Premium Unbleached White Paper Small Animal Bedding

Small Pet Select Premium Unbleached White Paper Small Animal Bedding

Made in: United States
Bolding Type: Paper
Feature: Unbleached, virgin fiber
Odor Control?: No

The Small Pet Select Premium bedding is made with unbleached, untreated paper without added chemicals. The white bedding is excellent for identifying used bedding areas and is soft enough to burrow in and sleep on. It’s absorbent and reduces the possibility of fur staining, but unlike the competition, Small Pet does not mention how absorbent it is compared with other products.

It’s dust free, and reviews praise its versatility and softness, but they mention the bedding’s lack of compression and tendency to clump. Despite this, the performance makes this bedding a top pick for hamsters that love to burrow; it provides comfort and absorbency to make burrowing (and cleaning) more pleasant.

  • White, so good for spot-cleaning
  • Soft and comfortable
  • No added chemicals; virgin paper
  • No level of absorbency given
  • Can clump when wet
  • Bedding isn’t compressed, so less for your money

9. Hempalta Premium Hemp Small Pet Bedding

Hempalta Premium Hemp Small Pet Bedding

Made in: Canada
Bolding Type: Hemp
Feature: Unscented, Eco-friendly
Odor Control?: Yes

Hemp bedding is becoming increasingly popular; with the Hempalta bedding, it’s easy to see why. Hemp offers a natural alternative to paper-based bedding and is a natural deodorizer, so no additional deodorizer is needed. This bedding provides a comfy and clean place to bed and burrow, and it’s non-toxic and compostable to suit the eco-minded owner.

It’s 99% dust-free to protect your hamster’s respiratory system and is lightweight, making it easy to dig into and move around. The hemp granules are clean and hamster-safe, but reviews pointed to this bedding being dustier than others and the granules sometimes being a little sharp. This is a natural product, so variation in each pellet is to be expected. However, the Hempalta bedding may be less comfortable for hamsters than other products.

  • 100% natural hemp
  • Chemical free
  • Natural deodorizer
  • Dustier than other bedding available
  • Natural variation in granules may be less comfortable

10. Sunseed Natural Corn Cob Bedding

Sunseed Natural Corn Cob Bedding

Made in: United States
Bolding Type: Corn
Feature: Eco-friendly
Odor Control?: No

Sunseed’s Natural Corn Cob Bedding offers a striking alternative to paper-based beddings and uses 100% USA-grown corn cobs with no added chemicals or dyes. This bedding is excellent for burrowing hamsters since it provides a challenge; the material mimics their natural habitat and encourages them to use their instincts to tunnel and forage. However, this isn’t ideal nesting bedding for hamsters to sleep on, so an additional bedding material should be used for sleeping.

The corn cobs provide a dust-free substrate for hamsters to burrow in, and Sunseed Natural Corn Cob Bedding can be composted. The most significant downside to the bedding is that the pellets can stick to the hamster’s fur.

  • 100% natural with no added chemicals or dyes
  • Encourages burrowing and foraging behavior
  • Compostable and eco-friendly
  • Sticks to fur when wet
  • Not ideal for nesting
  • No odor control


Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Hamster Bedding For Burrowing

Important Factors to Consider When Finding the Right Hamster Bedding for Your Needs

It can seem overwhelming when you’re looking for hamster bedding suitable for your pet. The important thing to ask yourself is,” which bedding is suitable for my hamster?” since it can vary, depending on the species, size, and sex of the hamster. Keeping this in mind, we’ll go through what you need to consider when shopping for new bedding.

hamster wheel
Image Credit: Katinka Bakos, Shutterstock

Species of Hamster

The species of your hamster is worth consideration when looking for new bedding. Two main species of hamsters are commonly kept as pets: Syrian hamsters and Dwarf hamsters. Syrian hamsters grow up to 7 inches and are the most common hamster breed found in homes.

Dwarf hamsters are much smaller and only grow up to 4 inches long. Because the bedding needs to be deep enough for every hamster to burrow in and feel secure inside, cost-effectiveness is important. You’ll use more bedding for a larger hamster and less for a smaller one. Some bedding types are expandable once unpacked; these are ideal, and they usually provide a better value for your money and can be used sparingly without depriving your hamster.

Type of Cage

Some cages are available for hamsters with connected tubes, tunnels, and houses. These are great for enrichment if they’re safe but can present a problem for bulkier bedding. Paper bedding is usually okay for these cages, providing it doesn’t clump. Still, some nugget-type beddings can clog the tunnels and inadvertently trap your hamster inside. On the other hand, open cages generally accommodate any bedding.

Bedding Features

Several products are designed for odor control and absorption, which are the two most desired features. Hamsters need a dry environment free from urine and feces odors, which can cause respiratory distress and infection if allowed to build up. Absorption is a vital feature of any bedding, but each type may perform better or worse depending on the material. For example, paper bedding is more likely to be absorbent than other materials but may not be as odor-controlling.

On the other hand, many owners want odor control as the key feature of their pet’s bedding, so looking for absorbent, odor-controlling bedding can be tricky. The key to odor control is spot-cleaning and good cage maintenance, and absorbent bedding with proper cleaning usually controls odors well.

hamster standing on its hind legs
Image Credit: Frenjamin Benklin, Unsplash

What Makes the Perfect Hamster Bedding?

A few factors influence how effective the bedding is, including:

  • Absorbency: Hamsters need to stay dry, or they can get urine scalding and staining on their coats, so bedding that can absorb a good amount of liquid is key.
  • Dust-free: Hamsters (like many small animals) have sensitive respiratory systems. Dust can irritate their airways and cause respiratory problems, so dust-free bedding is essential to keep them happy and healthy.
  • Fragrance-free: Like dusty bedding, bedding that has added fragrance can irritate your hamster’s airways and cause respiratory distress, so non-fragranced bedding is more appropriate.
  • Chemical free: Because hamsters often carry bedding in their mouths and cheeks, the bedding must be chemical-free and pet-safe (most bedding is).
  • Value for Money: Look for bedding that has a good amount in each pack and suits your price range, plus keep an eye out for offers and deals on bedding you like. Bedding that expands once out of its packaging is typically more cost-effective.
  • Ease of use: Colorful bedding is pretty to look at, but it can be tricky to see where it’s soiled or dirty. White or light-colored bedding is a good choice for ease of use, as it indicates where your hamster has been to the bathroom and makes spot cleaning much easier.
  • Comfort: Your hamster will spend most of their lives burrowing and sleeping in their bedding, so comfort is a big part of picking a good bedding. Look for soft bedding that holds its shape; paper beddings are good for burrowing and tend to be soft when correctly spread.

Tips When Buying Bedding For Your Hamster

Making sure the bedding is species-appropriate is also very important, as there’s nothing worse than finding bedding with great reviews only to find out it’s not suitable for your pet! Hamsters store food and other items in their cheek pouches; bedding that clumps or has sharp edges can injure them easily or even cause impaction. Impaction is rare but can occur if too much food or bedding (or the wrong type) is forced into their cheek pouches that they can’t get out.

Which Materials Are Used in Hamster Bedding?

Several kinds of bedding are available for hamsters, some of which are more suitable for burrowing than others.

Types of hamster bedding include the following:

  • Paper bedding is better for the environment, but some owners may be concerned about the potential contamination or chemicals. Most beddings have very stringent processing guidelines that don’t allow for any other materials to be added, but ultimately, it’s your choice whether you wish to go for recycled or non-recycled paper.
  • Corn cob bedding is popular among bird owners for its absorbability and odor control, but it might not be as comfortable for a small furry like a hamster to bed down in. Corn cob bedding is eco-friendly and natural and is usually very low in dust, so it is ideal for a hamster’s sensitive respiratory system.
  • Hemp is another popular choice for bedding, and it comes in a few forms. Most hemp bedding comes in pellet form, which can sometimes be harder for hamsters to burrow in. It is also eco-friendly and natural and can be very absorbent. Most hemp bedding is naturally odor controlled.
  • Wood shavings were once commonly sold as bedding material for small animals, including hamsters. We would advise against using wood shavings since some contain harmful oils, and many are dusty and can cause respiratory problems.
hamster bedding1_ Martin Javorek_Pixabay
Image Credit: Martin Javorek, Pixabay



We hope you’ve enjoyed our reviews of the best hamster bedding for burrowing and have found your hamster’s new, comfy nesting material. We really love the Carefresh Small Animal Bedding in white; it’s highly absorbent and was the best hamster bedding for burrowing we could find. For an exceptional value, Frisco’s Small Animal bedding was the winner. It provides a huge volume of top-quality bedding at a great price, making it the best hamster bedding for burrowing for the money. Lastly, if you want your hamster to experience luxury, look no further than Vitakraft’s Fresh World Ultra Strength bedding. Superior odor control and excellent softness made this our pick for the best premium hamster bedding.


  • https://www.petmd.com/exotic/general-health/how-keep-hamster-teeth-healthy


Featured Image Credit: metalboy25, Pixabay

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