10 Best Rat Bedding Options of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

Best Rat Bedding

Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by Fumipets

10 Best Rat Bedding Options of 2023


Rats, as pets, require comfortable and safe bedding for their well-being. The choice of bedding is crucial for maintaining their health and ensuring a clean living environment. Here’s a brief summary of rat bedding options, along with five commonly asked questions:

Rat Bedding Options

Rats are wonderful pets. They don’t take up a lot of room, are simple to maintain, and need little upkeep. However, bedding is something you will encounter often while caring for rats. Bedding is a sought-after item for each rat owner, regardless of how many rats they have or how few.

Finding excellent bedding is crucial if you want to reduce the scent to a minimum since rats may get highly odoriferous very fast. High-quality bedding is odor-neutralizing and absorbent, soaking up the excrement of your rats. You can maintain the cleanliness, appearance, and odor-freeness of your rats’ cage with a few simple spot cleanings and the appropriate bedding. But the improper bedding will make your rats’ cages stink badly, which will make keeping rats less enjoyable.

We set out to identify the finest rat bedding because we want to ensure that you and your rats are as happy as possible. The ten reviews that follow will compare our top picks, but we can only suggest three.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023

BEST OVERALLWinner Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding   Available in large volumes  99% dust-free formula  Expands to triple the size
BEST VALUESecond place Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding   Affordable  Prevents odors for up to 5 days  Expands to twice the volume
PREMIUM CHOICEThird place Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding   Controls odors for up to 2 weeks  Low-dust formula  100% recycled paper
  Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding   Bedding expands by 250%  Makes for easy cleanup  Very consistent
  Brown's Naturally Fresh! Corn Cob Bedding Brown’s Naturally Fresh! Corn Cob Bedding   Corn cob is extremely absorbent  Almost completely dust-free  Excellent at controlling odors

The 10 Best Rat Bedding Options

1. Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding – Best Overall

Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding_Chewy

Picking just one bedding to suggest for our readers was quite tough since there were so many fantastic alternatives available. But in the end, we were sufficiently pleased by the Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding to award it the top rank. Even if you have a dozen rats, you’ll only need to purchase this formula occasionally since it is available in big quantities of up to 85 liters. You receive a ton of bedding in one box since it expands to three times its original size.

The high amount of absorbency of this bedding is a wonderful feature. This bedding lasts longer than other mixes we’ve tried since it is extremely absorbent, holding up to four times its weight in fluids. In contrast to other “dust-free” beddings we tested, this one is truly extremely low in dust and is 99% dust-free.

The negative is that when exposed to large amounts of liquid waste, this bedding has the propensity to become mushy. However, considering all the other fantastic qualities this bedding offers, we thought we could overlook this one shortcoming.


  • Available in large volumes
  • 99% dust-free formula
  • Expands to triple the size
  • Holds up to 4x its weight in liquid


  • Turns to mush with large amounts of liquid waste

2. Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding – Best Value

Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding_Chewy

Even though we prefer the Kaytee bedding, we are still great admirers of the Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding and believe it to be the most cost-effective rat bedding available. It’s one of the most reasonably priced rat beddings we’ve encountered, and it comes in a composition that is completely biodegradable and compostable while yet offering acceptable quality. Additionally, this bedding expands to double its original size when you open it, providing you even more value for your money.

70% wood shavings and 30% comfyfluff bits make up this combination. This bedding is made softer and more absorbent by the comfyfluff pieces, which provide 60% more absorbency than shavings alone. This composition offers adequate odor suppression, avoiding unpleasant smells for up to 5 days, going beyond merely absorbent shavings.

Sadly, some rats could think eating wood shavings is a good idea. If your rats do consume these wood shavings, you may want to move to a different kind of bedding since you don’t want them to do so. Additionally, we observed that the quality of this bedding varied. Although it’s fantastic bedding overall, certain bags were excellent while others were less than adequate.

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  • Affordably priced for a large amount
  • 60% more absorbent than shavings alone
  • Prevents odors for up to 5 days
  • Expands to twice the volume
  • Comprised of 30% comfyfluff pieces
  • Biodegradable and compostable formula


  • Some rats might eat the wood shavings
  • Inconsistent quality

3. Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding – Premium Choice

Vitakraft Fresh Small Animal Bedding_Chewy

Our top bedding choices provide a decent balance of great quality and reasonable cost. In one of these categories, the Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding performs well, but not so well in the other. It’s pretty expensive, particularly considering how little you get. However, this one is fantastic as far as bedding is concerned.

The Vitakraft low-dust recipe is fantastic. In contrast to most small animal beddings, there was hardly little dust to speak of in the bags we examined. Since this mixture is created entirely from recycled paper, it is both effective and environmentally beneficial. It can absorb liquids up to three times its weight, reducing waste-related smells for up to 14 days.

This animal bedding may be a candidate for our top spot if it were more reasonably priced. As it stands, this bedding costs too much to get our top endorsement, but it is still our third choice and a premium option.


  • Controls odors for up to 2 weeks
  • Absorbs 3x its weight in liquid
  • Low-dust formula
  • Made with 100% recycled paper


  • It’s rather pricey for the amount you get

4. Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding

Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding_Chewy

The Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Beddings is one of the most absorbent beddings we’ve tested, having the capacity to absorb up to 800% of its weight in fluids. It is absolutely safe and extremely simple to clean up since it is manufactured entirely from pure materials and has never been printed on paper. Simply search for the large, discolored clumps and get rid of them.

In addition to being absorbent, this bedding grows significantly; once opened, you may anticipate a 250% expansion. However, the constancy has to be its strongest feature. It felt, looked, and smelled the same every time we opened a bag of this bedding. This is quite unlike other of the companies we evaluated, where each bag of identical bedding seemed to be a completely unique item.

This bedding has a lot of good qualities, but two significant drawbacks prevented it from cracking our top three. It’s quite dusty, to start. A sizable cloud of dust is released along with the bedding when you pour it into the rat’s cage. This bedding also struggles to control odors. Simply put, it struggles to keep smells under control for more than a few days.


  • Absorbs up to 800% of its weight in liquid
  • Made from pure, never printed paper
  • Makes for easy cleanup
  • Bedding expands by 250%
  • Very consistent


  • Surprisingly dusty
  • Offers minimal odor control

5. Brown’s Naturally Fresh! Corn Cob Bedding

Brown's Naturally Fresh! Small Animal Bedding_Chewy

Brown’s Naturally Fresh! is one of the most costly beddings we’ve encountered. To win our endorsement, Corn Cob Bedding would need to surpass a lot of expectations. We are unable to suggest this product despite the fact that it has several excellent qualities that are worth considering. particularly given that a lot of our rats ate the bedding! Rats apparently find corn to be appetizing. Of course, eating any bedding is dangerous for rats since it could result in impaction.

Even though it’s exorbitantly priced, this bedding does have a few commendable qualities that we liked. Since this bedding is made of corn cob, which is heavier than most paper beddings and tougher to spread and scatter, less mess will result from its usage. Also impressively, we discovered this bedding to be virtually entirely dust-free.

When it comes to eliminating smells, corn cob works wonders. Rat excrement and its related smells are effectively absorbed and neutralized by this bedding. The huge pieces of corn cob make this bedding simple to sift through to eliminate bits of uneaten food. However, the outrageous price keeps this product from moving up in our rankings.


  • Heavy material doesn’t spread and scatter
  • Corn cob is extremely absorbent
  • Almost completely dust-free
  • Excellent at controlling odors
  • It’s easy to sift uneaten foods from the bedding


  • Corn cob bedding might be tasty to rats
  • It’s prohibitively expensive

6. Carefresh Small Animal Bedding

Carefresh Small Animal Bedding_Chewy

Since Carefresh Small Animal Bedding is a well-liked product, we expected to have success while using it. To be honest, things got off to a good start. The bedding is fairly priced and made of compostable and biodegradable comfyfluff. Due to this, it may absorb twice as much moisture as bedding prepared from regular wood shavings. Additionally, the comfyfluff items perform a great job of controlling odors, keeping ammonia odors under control for up to 10 days!

You’ll see that this bedding isn’t particularly high on our ranking, however. This is partly because of the enormous quantity of dust that this bedding releases. It’s one of the dustiest things we’ve ever seen, and it took the dust cloud almost ten minutes to settle when it was poured into the cage housing our rats.

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The smell is our other issue. Although the scent of the bedding is really terrible, it does an excellent job of masking ammonia smells. This isn’t a product we’d use if there are alternative choices accessible since we’d prefer not to exchange one bad smell for another.


  • Priced reasonably
  • Made from biodegradable and compostable comfyfluff
  • Suppresses ammonia odors for up to 10 days
  • Twice as absorbent as wood shavings


  • Contains a surprising amount of dust
  • Emits an unpleasant odor

7. Living World Pine Shavings Small Animal Bedding

pine shaving beddings_Chewy

The Living World Pine Shavings Small Animal Bedding is unquestionably an inexpensive animal bedding, which is something we usually appreciate in items. Because it is composed entirely of natural pine shavings, it is very reasonably priced. However, there are certain benefits to pine, such as the delightful scent of pine shavings. Fortunately, this bedding has been kiln-dried to remove any pollutants that can endanger your rats.

The bedding wasn’t too horrible overall, despite being rougher than comparable beddings. Although it is to be anticipated with pine shavings, these shavings seem a little too jagged and certainly not soft when compared to softer materials like comfyfluff. The bedding also had several sizable pieces of wood, which was a significant turnoff. If not, your rats can wind up swallowing those enormous portions, which might harm them. Both outcomes are undesirable, hence this bedding has a rather poor ranking in our opinion when compared to other alternatives.


  • Affordably priced bedding
  • Crafted from 100% natural pine
  • Gives off a pleasant pine scent
  • Kiln-dried to eliminate contaminants


  • Big wood chunks in the bedding
  • This bedding is more abrasive than others

8. Kaytee Pine Small Animal Bedding

Kaytee Pine Small Animal Bedding_Chewy

The Kaytee Pine Small Animal Bedding uses a different recipe from the Kaytee bedding that took first place on our list; it is simple bedding made from pine shavings. On the bright side, it costs pennies on the dollar and grows to three times its packaging size, providing reasonable value for the money. Natural pine oils are also used in this bedding with the goal of preventing bacterial development.

Despite being reasonably priced, we weren’t too fond of this bedding. It spreads too easily around the home and is too bright. It was being kicked about by rats, and as they burrowed, the bedding flew out. Unfortunately, this bedding’s texture is questionable as well since it is quite abrasive. It resembles little pieces of sandpaper! However, not all of the pieces are little. This bedding had quite a few substantial pieces of wood, which was the last straw for us. It’s not the best bedding for rats, but we wouldn’t suggest it above our top three.


  • Priced cheaply
  • Expands to triple the size
  • Contains natural pine oils to reduce bacterial growth


  • Spreads around the house too much
  • Very abrasive texture
  • Contains too many large wood chunks

9. Small Pet Select Aspen Bedding

Aspen Bedding_Amazon

The Small Pet Select Aspen Bedding, which is available in sizes up to 113 liters, can work well for you if you maintain a big number of rats and require a bedding solution that comes in huge quantities. For the safety of pets, it is created with kiln-dried aspen shavings. Instead of fibers, which may be harmful, these shavings are made from logs.

But because of the strong chemical smell of this bedding, we don’t feel safe keeping our rats in it. These shavings are less absorbent than the other beddings we evaluated since they are also thick and chunky. Rats shouldn’t choose this as those large shavings are bad for digging in. The pieces in this bedding are especially dangerous since they contain sharp edges that are just ready to graze your rats’ skin and abrade their fur. Since there are so many alternative choices that are safer for any rodents, we’d avoid using this bedding.


  • Available in large volumes
  • Kiln-dried for pet safety
  • Made with wood shavings from logs


  • Has a noticeable chemical odor
  • Thick shavings aren’t very absorbent
  • Not great for burrowing animals like rats
  • The chunks are too sharp and abrasive

10. Fresh News Paper Small Animal Bedding

Fresh News Recycled Paper Bedding_Amazon

Fresh News’ paper bedding is environmentally beneficial since it is made completely of recycled paper. Additionally, because of its 100% non-allergenic composition, it is safe for both rats and humans, even those with severe allergies. However, we have more criticism than appreciation for this bedding.

First of all, the product is rather expensive. Despite being composed of recycled materials, this mattress is more costly than the majority of the others we tried! Even worse, we discovered many plastic bits lodged inside the bedding’s paper fragments.

The bedding was the dustiest of any that we tested, as if that weren’t enough. It releases more bedding when you pour it than it does in the form of a dust cloud. Additionally, because of its small weight, there will be bits all over the place, creating a huge mess for you to clean. And to top it all off, this bedding does a lousy job of masking ammonia scents, making it, as far as we can determine, a bad option for rats.

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  • Made from 100% recycled paper
  • 100% non-allergenic formula


  • Pricier than alternatives
  • Contains bits of plastic
  • Excessively dusty
  • Lightweight pieces scatter easily
  • Poor suppression of ammonia odors

Buyer’s Guide

Now that you’ve read our advice, you may proceed with confidence knowing that the bedding you’ve picked out will be ideal for your rats. This buyer’s guide is for you if you discover that you’re still having problems comparing these various beddings. It will help you decide which product is better for you and your dogs since we’ll discuss the key characteristics to compare between different beddings in it.

Comparing Rat Beddings

These bedding items are all intended to serve the same function. They are intended to provide your rat with a secure and cozy area to lie and burrow. They should simultaneously absorb waste and keep smells down, making it simple to keep your rats’ cage clean. But how can you choose the greatest bedding? We believe the following characteristics are a good place to start. You can learn a lot about each bedding’s performance by seeing how it stacks up against the others in these particular categories.


hamster in shavings

Paper, wood shavings, grain, and other things may all be used to make bedding for small animals. Each material has advantages and disadvantages unique to it, such as dust content, cost, availability, absorbency, and more.


Some of the mattresses with the highest performance might hold up to four times their weight in liquid. Others who weren’t as effective could only hold twice as much weight. It would be wise to locate a recipe that can absorb the most trash. This will make it simpler to spot clean the rat cage and help maintain it tidy.

Odor Control

Rats may make excellent pets, but if left alone, they may quickly become odorous. The ammonia smells caused by rat excrement may be greatly reduced with good bedding. However, several of the beddings we evaluated did badly in this regard. We consider odor management to be one of the most crucial features of any rat bedding.


Your rats shouldn’t consume their bedding. It could result in impaction. Although some, such bedding made from corn cobs, may tempt your rats to start eating, the majority of beddings won’t even be interesting to them. Any bedding that your rats seem to have a penchant for chewing should be avoided, in our opinion!


 hamster bedding_CrizzlDizzl, Pixabay

Despite the claims of many different kinds of pet bedding, we have discovered that this is seldom the case. Even still, certain beddings generate far more dust than others, resulting in the creation of a sizable cloud when you add the bedding to your rat’s cage. This causes a huge mess and is bad for both your lungs and the lungs of your rat.


We are referring to the weight of each individual piece of bedding, not the weight of the whole bundle. Light bedding is often tossed about. The bedding from your rats’ cages will be thrown out as they burrow, leaving a messy mess for you to clean up. It takes less time to clean up after heavier bedding since it doesn’t spread as quickly.


Although you may obtain a fantastic batch of a certain bedding, is it usually that good? Some beddings have highly inconsistent quality; you can receive one excellent batch followed by another that is terrible. So that you always know what to anticipate when you open them, we choose beddings that are more constant.

Volume and Expansion

What quantity of bedding is included in your package? Most bedding comes in packets of over 100 liters, while others are only available in extremely modest quantities of a few liters. Also take into account the expansion of each bedding. Some bedding expands to double its original size when you open it, while others grow to four times it! This raises the value of beddings that expand more since you may use a lot more of the same volume of bedding.


Even while you could purchase the most costly bedding for your rats right now, you definitely wouldn’t be getting the greatest deal. Although it’s often true that you get what you pay for, there is a point at which your returns start to decline. We believe the greatest value can be found in beddings that have excellent performance and provide a lot of product for the price, allowing you to simultaneously save money, time, and aggravation.


Most likely, the most significant component of your rat’s habitat is its bedding. If you don’t want your rat’s cage to be a terrible mess, stinking up the home and losing the joy of raising rats, it must be kept clean and organized. Fortunately, we’ve discovered several excellent rat beddings that may help keep the filth and stench in check. You’ve read about them in our reviews, but we’ll briefly recap our top picks here while they’re still fresh in your memory.

The Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding is our top choice. This product, which is offered in big quantities and triples in size when unpackaged, provides a fantastic value. Additionally, compared to most competitive goods, it can absorb up to four times its weight in fluids.

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The Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding is our choice for best value because it offers one of the greatest bargains in rat bedding. This compostable, biodegradable, and very absorbent solution eliminates smells for up to 5 days. The best part is that it is quite reasonably priced for any budget.

Vitakraft Fresh World Bedding is our top pick because it can absorb up to three times its weight in fluids and can reduce smells for up to 14 days.

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Questions and Answers:



Can I Use Cedar or Pine Bedding?

No, these aromatic woods release harmful oils that can negatively impact a rat’s respiratory system. Choose alternatives like aspen or hardwood shavings.


How Often Should I Change the Bedding?

Frequency depends on the type of bedding and the number of rats. Generally, aim for weekly changes, but monitor cleanliness regularly.


Are Fabrics Safe for Rat Bedding?

Yes, but opt for rat-safe fabrics and wash them regularly. Avoid fabrics with loose threads that rats may ingest.


Can I Mix Different Bedding Types?

Yes, mixing different bedding types can provide variety and comfort. Ensure they are safe for rats and compatible.


How Thick Should the Bedding Be?

Aim for a thickness of 2-4 inches, allowing rats to burrow and engage in natural behaviors. Adjust based on your rats’ preferences.

Selecting the right bedding is essential for your pet rats’ health and happiness, so consider their preferences, safety, and your cleaning routine when making your choice.




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