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The 10 Best Rat Bedding Options

Rats make great pets. They are simple to maintain, necessitate little upkeep, and take up little space. However, you will go through a lot of bedding when caring for rats.

Bedding is a hot commodity for all rat owners, whether they have a single rat or a colony.

Rats can quickly become quite odorous, so it is crucial to find suitable bedding if you wish to minimize their odor. High-quality bedding is absorbent and neutralizes odors by soaking up rat waste.

With a few quick spot cleanings and the proper bedding, you will be able to keep the enclosure of your rats clean, odor-free, and presentable.

But if you use the incorrect bedding, your rats' cage will stink to high heaven, diminishing the pleasure of keeping rats.

We want you and your rats to be as content as possible, so BestForPets (bestforpets.org) searched for the best rat bedding options.


Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding by Kaytee

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Bedding Pet

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With so many excellent alternatives available, it was challenging to recommend a single bedding to our readers. In the end, though, the Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding pleased us sufficiently to earn the top rank.

This formula is available in big quantities of up to 85 liters, so even if you have a dozen rats, you will only need to purchase it occasionally. Additionally, it triples in size when let to grow, so you receive a massive amount of bedding in a single container.

The absorbency of this bedding is one of its best qualities. It is so absorbent that it can hold up to four times its weight in liquid, allowing it to outlast competing solutions that we’ve tested.

Moreover, it is 99% dust-free, and unlike other “dust-free” beddings we’ve tried, this one genuinely has very little dust.

On the negative, we observed that this bedding tends to get mushy when exposed to large quantities of liquid waste. Nevertheless, we decided we could overlook this one drawback in light of the many other positive qualities this bedding had.


  • Available in huge amounts
  • 99% dust-free formula
  • Expands to three times its size
  • Up to four times its weight in liquid


  • Converts to mush when flooded with significant quantities of liquid waste

Carefresh Shavings In Addition To Small Animal Bedding

carefresh Dust-Free Confetti Natural Paper Small Pet Bedding

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Despite the fact that the Kaytee bedding is our favorite, we continue to be major admirers of the Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding , and we believe it’s the best option.

The most economical rat bedding. It’s one of the most reasonably-priced rat beddings we’ve encountered, and it’s made completely of biodegradable and compostable materials.

Plus, when you open the container, this bedding will expand to twice its original size, providing you even more value for your money.

This composition consists of 70% wood shavings and 30% bits of comfyfluff. This bedding is 60% more absorbent due to the inclusion of the comfyfluff bits than it would be with shavings alone.

This composition is more than simply absorbent shavings; it provides enough odor suppression, reducing offensive odors for up to 5 days.

Unfortunately, some rats may consider wood shavings to be an appetizing food source. You do not want your rats to consume these wood shavings, so if they do, you may choose to move to a different bedding material.

We also observed that this bedding was of variable quality. Some bags were excellent, while others were less satisfactory, but the bedding is excellent overall.


  • Priced affordably for a large quantity
  • 60% more absorbent than shavings by themselves
  • Eliminates smells for up to five days.
  • Increasing in size by a factor of two
  • Consists includes 30% fluffy chunks
  • Biodegradable and compostable formula


  • Some rats might consume the wood shavings.
  • Inconsistent standard

Fresh Vitakraft Small Animal Bedding

Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding

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Our preferred bedding solutions provide an excellent balance of high quality and reasonable cost. The Vitakraft Fresh World Small Animal Bedding performs admirably in one of these categories, but not the other.

It is pretty expensive, especially considering how little you receive. However, in terms of bedding, this one is excellent.

We adore the low-dust composition of Vitakraft. In the bags we examined, there was practically no discernible dust, a stark contrast to the great majority of small animal beddings.

This mix is manufactured from 100% recycled paper, making it effective and environmentally responsible. It absorbs up to three times its weight in fluids and controls waste-related smells for up to fourteen days.

If it were more reasonably priced, this animal bedding may challenge for the top spot. The exorbitant price of this bedding prevents us from giving it our highest rating, but it is still our third choice and our best option.


  • Eliminates smells for up to two weeks.
  • Absorbs three times its weight in liquid
  • Dust-free formula
  • 100 percent recycled paper


  • It’s quite expensive for the quantity you receive.

Oxbow Small Animal Pure Comfort Bedding

Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding

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The Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Beddings can absorb up to 800% of its weight in fluids, making it one of the most absorbent beddings we’ve tried.

It has never been printed on paper, therefore it is 100% safe and very easy to clean. Simply identify the huge, off-color clusters and remove them.

This bedding is more than just absorbent; when you open it, you may anticipate it to expand by 250%. However, the most impressive aspect must be constancy. Every time we opened a bag of this bedding, it had the same texture, appearance, and odor.

This is in stark contrast to other companies we examined, where each bag of identical bedding appeared to be an entirely distinct product.

Although we appreciated many aspects of this bedding, two key drawbacks prevented it from making our top three. It is first surprisingly dusty. When you pour the bedding into your rat’s cage, a big cloud of dust is released.

Additionally, this bedding lacks odor control. It just does not hold smells effectively for more than a few days.


  • Up to 800% of its weight can be absorbed by fluids
  • Made with paper that has never been printed
  • Facilitates simple cleaning
  • Bedding increases by 250%
  • Very reliable


  • Unexpectedly dusty
  • Offers limited odor control

Quality Small Animal Bedding

carefresh 99% Dust-Free Natural Paper Small Pet Bedding

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Carefresh Small Animal Bedding is a popular product, therefore we anticipated positive results while using it. And, to be fair, the situation began positively. The bedding is made from biodegradable and compostable comfyfluff and is competitively priced.

This allows it to be twice as absorbent as normal wood shaving bedding. Additionally, the comfyfluff bits are highly effective in odor management, eliminating ammonia odors for up to 10 days!

As you can see, though, this bedding does not rate particularly well on our list. This is partially due to the enormous quantity of dust this bedding generates.

It took around ten minutes for the dust cloud to settle after we poured it into the rats’ cage since it is one of the dustiest we’ve ever seen.

Our second criticism is the smell. This bedding performs an excellent job of masking ammonia scents, however it has a really disagreeable stench of its own.

We would rather not swap one terrible odor for another, thus we would not use this product if better solutions are available.


  • Priced affordably
  • Composed of biodegradable and compostable fluffy fill
  • Eliminates ammonia smells for up to ten days.
  • Double the absorbency of wood shavings


  • A startling quantity of dust is there.
  • Emits a foul odor

Kaytee Pine Small Animal Bedding

Kaytee Small Animal Pine Bedding

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The Kaytee Pine Small Animal Bedding has a different composition than the Kaytee bedding that gained the top spot on this list; it is a simple bedding made from pine shavings.

It is dirt-cheap and extends to three times its packaging size, providing good value for the money. This bedding also contains natural pine oils that inhibit the formation of microorganisms.

Even though it is reasonably priced, we did not enjoy this bedding. It is too light and tends to disperse across the home. Rats were kicking it all around, and as they dug, this bedding was flung in all directions.

Unfortunately, this bedding’s texture is also questionable, as it is quite abrasive. It resembles pieces of sandpaper! However, not every portion is little.

The fact that we discovered several huge pieces of wood in this bedding was the final straw for us. It’s not the worst bedding for rats, but we wouldn’t suggest it above our top three options.


  • Priced affordably
  • Expands to three times its size
  • Contains pine oil to inhibit bacterial development.


  • Too extensive across the home
  • Extremely rough texture
  • Too many huge wood bits are present.

Small Animals Prefer Aspen Bedding

Small Pet Select Premium Natural Aspen Bedding

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Small Pet Select Aspen Bedding is available in sizes up to 113 liters, making it a suitable option if you keep dozens of rats and want bedding in huge quantities.

The aspen shavings are kiln-dried for the protection of pets. These shavings are derived from logs rather than fibers, which might be hazardous.

However, this bedding has such a strong chemical stench that we do not feel safe housing rats in it. These shavings are also coarse and thick, making them less absorbent than other beddings we examined.

In addition, these large shavings are not conducive to burrowing, making this a bad option for rats. Worse yet, the jagged edges of the pieces in this bedding are just ready to create cuts and abrasions on your rats.

We would avoid this bedding because there are other alternatives that are safer for any rodents.


  • Available in huge amounts
  • Kiln-dried for pet protection
  • Consisting of wood shavings from logs.


  • Clearly emits a chemical odor
  • Thin shavings are not particularly absorbent.
  • Unsuitable for burrowing creatures such as rats
  • The fragments are very rough and pointy.

Fresh News Recycled Paper Bedding

Fresh News Recycled Paper Bedding

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This paper bedding from Fresh News is eco-friendly since it is created completely from recycled paper.

Furthermore, the mixture is 100% non-allergenic, making it safe for rats and humans alike, including those with severe allergies. Still, we have received more complaints than compliments concerning this bedding.

Initially, it is a very expensive product. This bedding is more costly than the majority of others we evaluated, despite being constructed from recycled materials! Worse, we discovered many particles of plastic stuck in the paper fragments across the bedding.

In addition, we found this bedding to be the most dusty of those we examined. The dust cloud it generates when poured is more than the amount of bedding it releases!

And because it is so lightweight, there will be parts strewn everywhere, creating a tremendous mess to clean up. In addition, this bedding suppresses ammonia smells poorly, making it, as far as we can determine, an overall bad option for rats.


  • Made entirely from recycled paper
  • 100% allergen-free formulation


  • More costly than alternatives
  • Contains plastic fragments.
  • Extremely dusty
  • Lightweight fragments disperse readily
  • Insufficient suppression of ammonia smells

Buyer's Guide

At this point, you may confidently follow our instructions and know that the bedding you’ve picked is an excellent option for your rats. However, if you are still having difficulty comparing these various beddings, this buyer’s guide is for you.

In it, we will discuss the most significant characteristics to consider when comparing various beddings, allowing you to make a better educated decision about which product is best for you and your dogs.

Comparison of Rat Bedding

All of these beddings are intended to serve the same function. They are intended to offer your rat with a safe and pleasant spot to burrow and sleep. Simultaneously, they should reduce smells and absorb waste, making it simple to clean your rats’ cage.

But how can one determine the greatest bedding? We believe the best place to begin is with the following characteristics: See how several beddings compare in these precise areas, and you’ll have a good idea of how well each will work.


Bedding for small animals may be constructed from a range of substances, including paper, wood shavings, grain, and more. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, such as dust levels, cost, availability, absorbency, and more.


Some of the most effective beddings might absorb up to four times their own weight in liquid. Others who performed less effectively could only absorb twice their weight.

It would be good to discover the recipe that can absorb the most trash. This will aid in keeping your rats’ enclosure clean and make spot cleaning easier.

Odor Control

Rats may make excellent pets, but they may quickly become stinky when neglected. Rat feces emit an ammonia-like stench, which is significantly mitigated by quality bedding.

However, several of the studied beddings did badly in this area. We consider odor management to be one of the most significant characteristics of rat bedding.


Your rats are sick if they consume their bedding. It may result in impaction. Some beddings, such as corn cobs, may lure your rats to begin eating. We would avoid any bedding materials that your rats appear to like gnawing.


We’ve discovered that although several types of pet bedding promise to be dust-free, this is rarely the case. Nonetheless, certain beddings generate far more dust than others, generating a dense cloud when poured into the rat’s cage.

Not only does this create a huge mess, but it is also hazardous to your rat’s and your own lungs.


Not the weight of the container, but the weight of each individual piece of bedding. A great deal of light bedding is strewn around.

When your rats burrow, the bedding will be flung out of the cage and dispersed across the room, leaving you with an unattractive mess to clean up. Heavier beddings are less likely to spread, hence lowering total cleanup time.


It’s possible to obtain a superb batch of a certain bedding, but is it usually this good? Some beddings were inconsistent in terms of quality; you may have a terrific batch followed by a bad one.

We prefer beddings that are more uniform, so that you always know what to expect when opening them.

Volume and Development

How much bedding does your bundle include? Some beddings are only available in extremely modest proportions of a few liters, while others come in packages of over 100 liters. Also consider the expansion of each bedding.

When opened, certain beddings double in size, while others extend to four times their original size! This means that the same volume of bedding may be utilized significantly more often, hence enhancing the value of beddings that expand more.


You could get the most costly bedding for your rats, but you generally won’t get the best value. Usually, you get what you paid for, but there is a tipping point for refunds.

We believe the finest value is found in beddings that work effectively and provide a great deal of product for the price, allowing you to save money, time, and hassle.


Bedding is undoubtedly the most critical aspect of your rat’s cage. If you don’t want your rat’s cage to be a filthy mess that stinks up the house and ruins the joy of raising rats, it must be kept clean and organized.

Fortunately, we’ve discovered some best rat bedding options that help control filth and odor. You’ve already read about them in our evaluations, but to refresh your memory, BestForPets (bestforpets.org)¬†briefly recaps our favorites.

The Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding is our top recommendation. This product is available in large quantities and expands to three times its packed size, making it an excellent value. In addition, it absorbs up to four times its weight in liquid, outperforming the majority of rival goods.

Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Animal Bedding is our top recommendation as one of the most cost-effective rat bedding options. This very absorbent solution is biodegradable and compostable, and it eliminates smells for up to five days. Best of all, the pricing is really reasonable for any budget.

The top option is Vitakraft Fresh World Bedding , which can eliminate smells for up to 14 days and absorb up to three times its weight in fluids.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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