The Top 15 Best Bedding for Rats: Reviews & Guide

Rats— most people would think of the nasty, dirty little rodents that live in sewers. However, rats are among the favorite and most loved pocket pets and guinea pigs and hamsters, thanks to their curious and sweet nature.

And, no. They are not dirty creatures at all! They like clean, spacious areas free of fecal matter and food wastes.

The areas they create include a runway trail, a nest, food storage, and some corners to relieve themselves.
For your pet rat to create these areas, you will need to provide them the right bedding.

But first, how do you choose the best bedding for rats?

Bedding Material Types for Rats

You can several materials used in pet beddings. However, not all of them are good for your pet rat. Here are the safest beddings for the rat as well as the ones you should never use:

  • Shredded Paper – Shredded paper is the most common bedding for rats. It is recycled paper, scoring high on texture, safety, absorbency, and cost. Plus, you have plenty of choices. However, when choosing this kind of bedding, make sure to avoid the colored or bleached options and printed paper since it can be toxic to your rat.
  • Aspen Bedding – Another popular choice as long as it is designed for rodents. This bedding is processed to eliminate dust and large wood pieces, which can harm your rat. It can be messy, though; it is not as absorbent as other beddings. Plus, rats like to dig, and aspen are the perfect bedding for this behavior.
  • Cloth or Fleece Bedding – Some pet owners prefer to place a fleece or just some old clean cloth in their rat’s cage. This is particularly best if your rat is allergic to other kinds of beddings. However, note that if you are going to wear old cloth, wear ones in good shape. Not just some ratty tatty cloth that can cause injuries when wrapped around your rat’s tail or legs.
  • Pine and Cedar Bedding – This bedding was popular at some point, thanks to its excellent absorbency and keeping the environment smelling great. Also, they come with natural insecticides to keep lice and bugs away. The problem is that they are quite toxic to pets, particularly rodents. Rats have a weak respiratory system, and breathing pine and cedar oils can cause serious problems.
  • Corn Cob Bedding – This is something you should avoid at all costs. Corn cobs, canned and frozen ones are fine as treats. But as bedding, it is completely useless and dangerous. Corn bedding can rot with moisture and grow mold. And the fungus that grows is quite dangerous for your rat. Also, rats like to chew on everything, and the corn cob is like a chew toy. You never know if it is filled with fungus or not.
  • Cat Litter – Cat litter is for cats. So, no, don’t even try to use cat litter, particularly the clumping type, as your rat’s bedding. Cat litters tend to be scented to remove bad odors. This is no big deal for cats since they only go to their litter to relieve themselves and have stronger and bigger lungs. This will serve as their bedding for rats and stay in their cage for at least a week. Plus, the smell and dust that comes with it are not suitable for their weak respiratory system. Thanks to the small size, your pet rat may end up chewing the litter, which is not made to be ingested. This can cause your rat’s stomach problems and make them fatally ill.

What Characterize a Good Rat Bedding

The primary function of a rat bedding is to absorb moisture when your pet rat relieves itself or caused by tipped water bowls;

  • Good Absorbency – The more absorbent the bedding, the better it can keep the cage dry and clean, ensuring that your pet’s cage is free of bacteria, molds, fungi, and odors. More importantly, good absorbency can help control and prevent bad odors.
  • Changing Time – It allows you to change your pet’s bedding less frequently while still making the inside of the cage healthy and smelling great. This benefits your pet and the whole household since it prevents any foul odor from spreading to your living spaces so that you can breathe in the fresh air as well.
  • Fragrance-Free – Although you want your pet’s cage to be free of odor, you should refrain from using bedding with added scents or fragrances. Added natural oils or scented chemicals can pose a severe problem to your pet’s weak respiratory system and can also be fatal when ingested.
  • Dust-Free – Any bedding used inside your pet’s cage, even if they do not ingest it, can end up in their mouths or irritate their lungs. Thus, it would be best to choose bedding dust-free to prevent any respiratory or allergic problems. Additionally, dust-free bedding prevents mess and won’t give you a hard time cleaning and replaying the bedding.
  • Quantity – Since you’ll need rat bedding regularly, you’ll have to consider buying larger bulks to get some small discounts. But, before you do that, make sure to test it out first and see how your rat reacts to it. If your rat seems comfortable with the bedding, only then can you get bigger bulks to save a fair amount of money.

Reviews: The Best Bedding For Rats

With hundreds of bedding available on the market, choosing the right one can be quite daunting. To help you in your quest, here are some of the best bedding for rats available today!

  • Starting our list is the famous and reputable Kaytee brand.
  • Boasting a 4.4-star rating with over 2,000 reviews on Amazon alone, the Clean & Cozy White Bedding is a favorite among small pet owners. However, it is an Amazon’s Choice for Guinea Pig Bedding, this bedding is suitable for all kinds of small animals, including rats.
  • This bedding is made of soft paper that offers a fluffy environment for your pet rat to burrow or nest.
  • It also meets the FDA’s standard, so it is rather safe for your pet rat.
  • Also, this paper-based bedding is super absorbent, that it can absorb two times more moisture than wood shavings, keeping your pet’s cage clean, dry, and with less odor.
  • Kaytee also guaranteed that this bedding is 99.9 percent dust-free making it less likely to cause respiratory problems and allergies to your rat, as well as easy cleaning on your part.
  • Furthermore, thanks to its bright white color, you can easily spot soiled areas, preventing the need to change the whole bedding at once.
  • With an affordable price tag, this bedding is available in various sizes— 12.3 L, 24.6 L, 49.2 L, and 85 L— with each pack can expand up to 3 times its packaged size.
Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Natural Fiber25%95
Total Score100%97.25

  • Next on our list is another top-rated product from Amazon— the Carefresh Natural Small Pet Bedding, with over 2,000 reviews by satisfied customers.
  • This natural version of the Carefresh bedding is guaranteed from scratch using only 100 percent raw and natural fiber taken directly from its source.
  • The bedding has a pillowy softness and fluffiness, ensuring that your pet rat’s delicate feet are comfortable and safe and encourage the healthy burrowing and nesting behavior of rodents. Being two times more absorbent than shavings, this cage can help keep your rat’s cage dry and clean, in addition to preventing unwanted odors inside and outside the cage for at least ten days, as Carefresh claims.
  • For cleaning convenience, you’ll also like that the bedding is virtually low on dust, making it easier for your pet’s lungs and for you to clean.
  • Carefresh offers this pet bedding in several sizes at such affordable price tags so that you can choose the right amount for your pet’s needs.
Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Natural Fiber25%95
Total Score100%96

  • With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon alone, this premium paper bedding from renowned pet quality brand, Small Pet Select, is another favorite among small pet owners.
  • Made from pure, unbleached, and never been printed on paper, this premium bedding is guaranteed to have no harmful residues and is super safe for your delicate rats.
  • It is designed specifically for small pets like rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and chins; this bedding offers a soft and comfortable environment that encourages burrowing and nesting behavior.
  • It has excellent absorbency and helps control odor, keeping your rat’s cage dry, clean and fresh for a more extended period.
  • Additionally, this bedding contains no additives and dyes and is virtually dust-free, so you don’t have to worry about allergies or respiratory issues on your pet.
  • This bedding is available in various sizes and packs, including 178 L and 56 L, with each compressed bag providing a high bedding volume and can expand up to 3 times that packaged size for total value for your money.
Rating CategoryWeight %Score
Natural Fiber25%95
Total Score100%94.75

  • If you have several pet rats to take care of or you’re just looking for bedding with a strong odor control system, so you do not have to change the bedding regularly, then this one from famous brand Kaytee is your best choice.
  • The Extreme Odor Control Pet Bedding can offer you at least 14 days of odor control by fighting ammonia odors to keep your rat’s cage smelling fresh for longer.
  • It is guaranteed to absorb up to 6 times its weight in liquid, keeping the cage cleaner and drier for longer.
  • The bedding also features a soft and fluffy material that is gentle on your pet rat’s feet and encourages healthy burrowing and nesting behavior.
  • What’s more, Kaytee also promises its bedding to be 99.9 percent free of dust to prevent allergic and respiratory problems as well as making it easier for you to maintain and clean your pet’s cage.

  • Safe for all kinds of small animals, this bedding from So Phresh is made of 95 percent post-consumer paper that won’t break apart when wet, making it super easy to clean and maintain your pet’s cage.
  • The natural paper pellets help lock in moisture, provide excellent absorbency, and keep your rat’s cage drier and cleaner than ever.
  • Not only that, but these paper pellets also contain the all-powerful baking soda, which helps neutralize ammonia odors from rat pee, leaving the cage hygienic and smelling great.
  • For the environmentally-conscious rat owners, you’ll also love this rat bedding option, as it is sustainable, biodegradable, and, ultimately, environmentally reducing your carbon footprint and pawprint at the same time.

  • Vitakraft, another reputable manufacturer of pet supplies, offers safe and reliable bedding for your pet rat. The Fresh World Ultra Strength Bedding is made of 100 percent unbleached, recycled paper that is free of chemicals, making it safe for you, your pet, and the environment.
  • For odor control, these bedding from Vitakraft can compete with Kaytee’s Extreme Odor Control Bedding and offers the same 14 days of superior odor control so that your rat’s cage is hygienic and smelling great for longer without the need to replace the bedding now and then.
  • Additionally, this fantastic bedding can absorb at least three times its weight, so your rat can enjoy a comfortable dry, and cozy environment.
  • Plus, the soft paper crumbles ensure that your rat’s delicate feet are comfortable and allows the nesting and burrowing behavior of your rodent pal.
  • Like most small pet bedding, Vitakraft also promises its bedding to be virtually free of dust so that it will not cause any allergic or respiratory problems.
  • When it is time to clean, you’ll be glad to know that this bedding is also biodegradable and compostable after use.

  • A unique pet bedding, this one from Dr. Hemp, uses industrial-grade hemp that is organically grown in Netherland without pesticides or herbicides to prevent any chemical residues from being transferred to your small pet.
  • This bedding can absorb up to 4 times its weight and stays drier than wood shavings or straws. It is also low in dust, so it prevents respiratory or other health risks in your pet rat and other small animals.
  • Proudly made in the USA, this bedding is all-natural and is good for the environment since it is completely biodegradable, recyclable, and compostable after use.

  • Besides paper-based pet bedding, Kaytee also offers bedding made of all-natural aspen shaving that is safe and suitable for all kinds of small animals like rats, chins, ferrets, and guinea pigs.
  • These aspen shavings are specially processed to eliminate wood debris and dust that can cause allergic and respiratory issues.
  • The bedding is also free of aromatic oils, inks, artificial colors, or any additives that can be harmful and toxic to your rat pal.
  • Kaytee also ensures that the shavings do not have rough or coarse wood pieces that can injure your pet’s feet. Instead, it is guaranteed to be soft and comfortable, encouraging your pet’s instinctive burrowing and nesting behavior.
  • With its high absorbency rate, this bedding can keep your pet’s cage dry and clean for longer, as well as preventing unwanted odors for days.

  • Another reliable pet bedding for Healthy Pet, this one features reclaimed wood pulp, which is guaranteed safe for your pet rat. It is also suitable for the environment since it is biodegradable and compostable after use.
  • Thanks to its fluffy and soft texture, this bedding encourages burrowing and nesting behavior while preventing any injuries to your pet’s delicate feet.
  • To keep your pet’s cage clean and smelling nice, this natural pet bedding suppresses ammonia caused by urine, controlling and preventing unpleasant odor for longer.
  • It can absorb up to 3 times its weight in liquid, keeping your pet’s home dry and cozy while also preventing respiratory ailments and allergies thanks to its dust-free formulation.
  • And although it is made of wood, the bedding is made without rough or coarse pieces to prevent injuries.

  • The small animal bedding Back-2-Nature from Fibrecycle USA Inc. is considered one of the safest and healthiest rat bedding available on the market.
  • However, please note that its superior quality reflects its price tag, being almost twice as expensive as other brands.
  • Popular bedding with a 4.5-star rating online, this bedding fits all the best rat bedding criteria. It is free of chemical additives and guaranteed to have been produced without any chemical means.
  • It is also 99.9 percent free of dust, so you should never worry about respiratory issues.
  • Thanks to the paper’s natural cellulose fiber, it offers excellent absorbency and provides natural odor control, keeping your pet’s environment clean, dry, and smelling great.
  • Also, most users claim that this bedding lasts longer than other brands.

  • For the extremely environmentally-conscious pet owners looking to reduce their carbon footprint and pet’s pawprint simultaneously, the Eco-Bedding from FiberCore is your best solution.
  • Perfect for all kinds of small animals, including rats, hamsters, ferrets, guinea pigs, and more, this Eco-Bedding is made of non-toxic, recycled paper that is completely biodegradable and compostable after use.
  • Thanks to the patented and unique process of cutting and folding recycled paper strips, this bedding is highly absorbent, taking moisture from the bottom up, so the top layer stays dry for longer, so your pet stays on a dry and cozy surface.
  • The bedding is also dust-free, making it suitable for allergy sufferers and those with respiratory ailments.

  • This bedding from Sunseed is another paper-based bedding made from recycled magazines and newspapers that is phenol-free, so it is safe and effective at absorbing urine and moisture.
  • Furthermore, the bedding is formulated with baking soda for superior odor control, keeping your pet’s cage and your home free of unpleasant smell.
  • The bedding is also 33.5 percent free of dust, making it suitable for allergy sufferers.

  • Made of recycled paper, this paper bedding from Fresh News is guaranteed safe for you, your pet rat, and the environment.
  • This is because the bedding is made of non-toxic used paper that is completely biodegradable and can be incinerated or composted after use.
  • The bedding has baking soda to keep your rat’s habitat clean and fresh for longer to eliminate odor. Also, your rat can enjoy a drier and cleaner environment because of its high absorbency rate.
  • With its soft and fluffy texture, this bedding is also safe on your rat’s delicate feet while encouraging natural nesting and burrowing behavior.
  • It is also virtually dust-free, making it suitable for those with allergic or respiratory issues.

  • Another reputable company offering pet supplies, Oxbow, manufactured this particular bedding for your small pet’s comfort and safety.
  • It is made from unbleached, pure, and never-printed paper; this rat bedding has no chemicals or toxic residues.
  • It is cozy and soft to the touch, encouraging your pet’s natural nesting and burrowing behavior. It has a good absorbency rate that helps keep the cage clean and dry while minimizing pet odor caused by urine and ammonia.
  • Because it is made of paper, it is virtually dust-free, so there should be no issues in your pet’s respiratory system.
  • Plus, this makes it easier for you when it is time to clean and maintain your pet’s cage.

  • Made from virgin and food-grade recycled paper material that does not contain any chemicals, this soft bedding from Premier Pet is safe and non-toxic for your rodent.
  • Highly absorbent, this paper-based bedding will keep your pet’s home clean and dry while also preventing the unwanted odors that come from urine and moisture.
  • It is also virtually dust-free, making it easier and convenient for you to clean and prevent problems like allergies.
  • Meanwhile, its bright white color makes it easier for you to spot soiled pieces, so you can take it out and prevent frequent one-time bedding replacement.


Providing your rat pal with safe and soft bedding is essential not only for its comfort but also for you and your family.

The above list of the best bedding for rats should ensure a hygienic, dry and fresh environment for your adorable pet rat, keeping them perfectly happy and healthy for the rest of their cute life while preventing problematic respiratory issues and keeping your rat’s cage and your entire home from smelling like the sewer.

Index Table: Top Rated Rat Bedding

1Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Bedding - Rat Bedding and Substrate
  • FDA Approved
  • Absorbent
  • Size Options
2Carefresh Natural Small Pet Bedding - Substrate and Bedding for Rats
  • Raw and Natural Fibers
  • Pillowy Soft
  • Absorbent
3Small Pet Select Premium Paper Small Animal Bedding - Bedding for Rats
  • Unbleached
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Controlls Odors
Small Pet Select94.75
4Kaytee Extreme Odor Control Pet Bedding - Substrate and Bedding for Rats
  • Odor Control
  • Absorbent
  • Dust Free
5So Phresh Paper Pellets Small Animal Litter - Substrate and Bedding for Rats
  • Natural paper
  • Absorbent
So Phresh96.4
6Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Bedding - Rat Bedding and Substrate
  • Soft Paper
  • Absorbent
  • odor Control
7Amazing Pet Bedding Hemp - Bedding for Rats
  • Hemp Based
  • Natural
  • Food Grade
Amazing Pet Bedding97
8Kaytee Aspen - Rat Bedding and Substrate
  • Wood Shavings
  • Safe
  • Dust Free
9Healthy Pet Natural Bedding - Substrate and Bedding for Rats
  • Biodegradable and Compostable
  • Supresses Ammonia
Healthy Pet97.6
10Fibrecycle USA Inc. Back-2-Nature Pet Bedding - Substrate and Bedding for Rats
  • Safe and Helathy
  • Natural Cellulose Fibers
Fibrecycle USA Inc.97
11FiberCore Eco-Bedding - Substrate and Bedding for Rats
  • Environmentally Frienldy
  • Recycled paper
  • odor Resistant
12Sunseed Fresh World Pet Bedding - Bedding for Rats
  • Recycled Paper
  • Absorbent
  • Safe
13Fresh News Recycled Paper Bedding - Bedding for Rats
  • Soft texture
  • Fluffy
  • Safe on Rats Feet
Fresh News95.8
14Oxbow Pure Comfort Bedding - Substrate and Bedding for Rats
  • Dust Free
  • Paper Based
  • Absorbent
15Premier Pet Uber Soft Paper Bedding - Rat Bedding and Substrate
  • Non-Toxic
  • Safe
  • Absorbent

About the Author

Sarah Bennett

Sarah joined Happy Home Pets in 2017 after spending the past seven years working at a renowned veterinary hospital. Having graduated from the University of Glasgow School of Veterinary Medicine, she has gained vast knowledge in this field.