What is the Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs?

Using the best bedding for your guinea pig is important to make sure they are comfortable, warm, safe and healthy in their environment.

There are several choices when it comes to deciding what the best guinea pig bedding is to use for your cavies and we describe the best options here.

We have created an easy online shopping list for you to buy the products below but if you want to read what we have to say about each of our bedding suggestions, scroll further down the page.

Recommended: Our Top 5 Bedding Options

Take a look at these recommended bedding options. Click on the links to see what they look like, how much they cost and for full details.

Sleeping Quarters

Whatever bedding you opt for, remember that your guinea pigs will always need plenty of hay in their sleeping quarters on top of whatever other bedding is used. They don’t make nests but they do like to burrow themselves in hay where they feel safe and secure. You can also buy “hidey holes” and fill them with hay too as they will love to curl up in those!

Guinea Pig Bedding Options

Choosing which bedding to use for your cavies can be a combination of what works for them and you as well as what might work best in the type of housing that you have for your pigs. 

Newspaper & Hay

Guinea pigs love hay for both bedding and food but make sure you keep the feeding hay separate (eg in a hay rack) so it doesn't get soiled.

Newspaper is great for soaking up urine. It will evaporate which makes for a hygienic hutch or cage. Line the hutch with several layers of newspaper throughout the cavy housing.

Once you have lined the floor with newspaper, you should cover it all with hay. We recommend this Timothy Hay.

Natural Paper Bedding

This Natural Paper Bedding is a good choice for your guinea pigs because, apart from it being very comfortable for your pets, it is made from unbleached paper that has never been printed and, made in the USA, there are no harmful chemicals in this product. This bedding is lovely and soft for your guinea pigs delicate feet.

Once opened, the contents expand to three times the packaged size.

Cover the floor of the guinea pig home with layers of newspaper and put plenty of the paper bedding on top. 

Carefresh

Carefresh is another type of paper bedding which is very popular with guinea pig owners. It has a 10 day odour control and has double the absorbency of shavings. With minimal dust, Carefresh is a good bedding to use for your guinea pig housing.

Fleece Liners

Fleece liners are becoming increasingly popular as guinea pig bedding.  They are pre-made to fit either the Guinea Pig Habitat cage or C&C cages which are both great cages! Bear in mind these do need regular washing and you'll need to have at least one spare set while the other lot is in the wash.

The most popular are sold by a company called GuineaDad. These come in a range of sizes for your Habitat or C&C cage and even have a special pocket in which your guinea pigs can hide!

Small Pets and Company make a more decorative fleece liner if you prefer more of a design on your fleece. They also make them for both the Habitat and C & C cages.

A Note About Sawdust / Wood Shavings (NOT Recommended)

Although many guinea pig owners still include this as bedding for their cavies, it is not something we would recommend for the following reasons;

  • Guinea pigs are very susceptible to respiratory problems and sawdust or wood shavings tend to have a lot of dust in them which can contribute to health problems
  • Although it will soak up the urine, it doesn’t allow for it to evaporate which is unhygienic and more messy when you come to clean out their housing.
  • Bits of wood shavings can get stuck in their eyes or private parts which can be extremely distressing and dangerous.
  • Wood shavings can cause ulcerated feet and skin problems
  • Many contain oils that are poisonous to guinea pigs

Please think twice before using wood shavings for your guinea pig's bedding. Instead choose one of the alternatives above.

Summary

You should now have a good idea of what might work for you and your pets.

Remember that the bedding should be as dust-free as possible because dusty bedding can cause serious health issues for your guinea pigs.

Before putting the bedding into your hutch or cage, make sure the housing is cleaned (using a guinea-pig-friendly disinfectant) and fully dry.

You can find information on how to clean the hutch here.