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9 Best Rat Beddings – Reviews & Analysis

Last Updated: 30.03.20


Top Bedding for Rats – Guide & Comparison


Most of the time, choosing the best rat bedding can be time-consuming. There are many products that have a lot of features and the information can be overwhelming for people who are busy and don’t have much time on their hands. Therefore, our team has reviewed the qualities of a few of the most bought products on the market and has concluded that the Carefresh Small Pet Bedding is a great choice. It is made of raw paper that Carefresh produces by itself so that it is able to ensure the lack of chemicals present in their product. It is odorless for up to 10 days, dust-free and has a soft, downy texture. It comes in 4 single-use packages and can absorb up to 2 times more than beddings made of wood shavings do. If this is not available, the Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding is also a good choice.



Comparison table


The Good
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9 Best Rat Beddings (Updated Reviews) in 2020 



If it is hard for you to pick the perfect bedding option for your rat, we have made some bedding reviews of the most popular products. We have analyzed their qualities and features to make your job easier when opting for what fits your tiny friend’s needs. After reading this you will be able to choose what is best for your rat’s environment.



1. Carefresh Small Pet Bedding


The Carefresh Small Pet Bedding is exactly what you need if you are looking to provide your rat with a healthy environment. Carefresh produces its own paper from its own supervised sources, ensuring that the paper is raw. This means that it hasn’t been painted before and hasn’t been treated with harsh chemicals that can harm your pet.

The high-quality paper is able to absorb two times more liquid than shavings do and it is soft so that your tiny friend can enjoy a cozy environment. The paper will not scratch the skin on its feet and belly. It can go up to 10 days without getting any bad odors and it is dust-free. It comes in four 14-litter packages that have the exact amount of bedding you need for one use. 

Rats enjoy burrowing and making themselves cozy hideaways and this bedding encourages them to do so because of its softness. It is odorless and the manufacturers do not use harsh chemicals to remove odor.



This bedding is very safe when it comes to your rat’s skin and respiratory system due to the fact that Carefresh uses virgin paper fibers from its own sources, a paper that hasn’t been treated with harsh chemicals and hasn’t been painted before.

It does not retain moisture due to the fact that it is packed in 4 separate single-use sized bags that allow you to use the exact amount of bedding you need for a cage of regular size.

It is really soft and does not harm the skin of your pet. It is also fresh and keeps the cage odorless for up to 10 days.

It is dust-free, which is great for your rat’s respiratory system, as well as for people who are allergic to house dust.



There aren’t actually any real flaws in this product. Maybe some people have a bigger cage and they have to use more than 1 package for a single-use. Other than that, this product is a great choice for your rat.

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2. Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding


Small Pet Select brings you a great small pet bedding that will make your rat enjoy the time it spends inside its cage. It is made of natural fibers that are also environmentally friendly. The manufacturers do not cut any trees, the paper is made of leftover food-grade materials. The paper hasn’t been printed before and hasn’t been treated with any harmful chemicals.

The package it comes in is compact and the bedding expands 3 times when you take it out. It is 99 percent dust-free, highly absorbent and really soft. It protects the skin of your little friend, as well as its eyes. It has a natural light brown color and it will encourage your rat to engage in burrowing activities.

The bedding is fresh and odor-free for a long period of time and mimics your little pet friend’s natural environment. It is perfect for all kinds of small pets, like rats, hedgehogs, guinea pigs and chinchillas.



It is made of 100 percent natural materials that keep your pet safe.

It is environmentally friendly, as the paper is made of natural food leftovers, not trees.

The paper this bedding is made of is raw and hasn’t been bleached or chemically treated, so the bedding will not harm your rat’s respiratory system and it will not cause any skin rashes.

It is 99 percent dust-free, perfect for people who are allergic to dust and for keeping your rat’s health at top levels.

It is really smooth and provides a cozy and comfortable environment for all small pets, not only for rats.

The package is compact and does not take much storage space.



Because the package is so big and it is not resealable, you have to pay attention to where you store it. Make sure that it doesn’t absorb moisture and propagate mold, which is really dangerous for your pet.

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3. Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding


This product from Vitakraft is awesome for people who have engaged in a journey of finding  a rat bedding that reduces odor. It can keep the environment of your tiny friend odorless for up to 14 days due to its property of absorbing and locking moisture. It is made of 100 percent recycled paper that reduces the carbon footprint.

Vitakraft has come up with a formula that does not use baking soda to reduce odor, as some of the similar products do. This is highly important for keeping your pet healthy. It is highly absorbent as it can absorb up to 3 times its weight in liquid. It is made locally, in the USA, and it is almost dust-free.

It is designed to be used for almost any small pet that needs bedding in its cage and, due to its softness, will make your pet’s life highly comfortable.



It is 100 percent baking-soda-free. This is pretty important because, as you may know, baking soda can be harmful to the respiratory system of many small pets, especially for rats.

It is highly dust-resistant and it is a great product for people who have an allergy to house dust, as well as for keeping your rat’s respiratory system healthy.

It keeps the cage odor-free for a long period of time, up to 14 days.

It is environmentally friendly due to the fact that it is made of recycled paper.

It is highly absorbent, being able to absorb 3 times its weight in liquid.



There is a debate on the recycled paper used for pet bedding. Some people argue that the paper may contain harmful chemicals that are leftovers from the ink previously used on the paper. However, Vitakraft has a collaboration with PaperGator, a recycling program that relies on the recycling of paper used in schools, that hasn’t been printed with harmful chemicals.

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4. Kaytee All Natural Aspen Bedding


This affordable rat bedding from Kaytee is made of Aspen shavings that are 100 percent natural and chemical-free. Unlike other similar wood shaving beddings, this product is specially treated not to have any wood debris or dust that is left after processing. It mimics the natural environment of your rat.

Being made of wood shavings, it is biodegradable. The product is not dyed and it is not treated with any special oils to give it an unhealthy artificial scent. When it comes to wood shaving bedding, Aspen shavings are a great choice for rats because they do not contain any phenols, as Aspen is a hardwood.

This bedding is a great choice for your rat because it will offer an environment close to its natural one and your small pet friend will be encouraged to burrow, an activity that keeps it connected to its instincts and keeps its brain healthy.



Aspen bedding is a great choice for people who want to buy this type of product for their rat because it is all-natural and has no phenols that can harm its health.

It is 100 percent biodegradable because the wood shavings deteriorate quickly.

It mimics the natural environment of rats and engages them in activities that they would perform in nature, like burrowing and nesting.

The manufacturing process uses a technology that removes dust and wood debris that can often remain in wood shavings, making it a great product that does not harm your rat’s respiratory system.

It does not contain any artificial smells and the manufacturers do not use any oils to make it smell good. It has an all-natural Aspen fresh and healthy smell.



Aspen shavings are harder to vacuum so if your rat is used to take it out of the cage you might have to take more time to clean it than with other products.

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5. Kaytee Clean & Cozy Scented Small Animal Bedding


Kaytee’s Clean & Cozy is known to be among the softest beddings that are available for small pets. It is perfect for your rat because it does not harm its feet and belly skin and offers it a comfortable environment that your tiny friend will absolutely enjoy.

It is a really good bedding that comes with a lot of benefits that will make your life, as well as your pet’s life, easier. It is spice apple scented and it does not retain dust, a great feature that keeps the respiratory system of your rat healthy. It absorbs two times more than the classic wood shavings bedding and 6 times its weight in liquid.

The scent is natural and it does not contain harsh chemicals. It expands three times after you remove it from the bag and it has a high odor-control capacity, making it perfect for anyone who wants to buy a high-quality rat bedding.



It is 99.9 percent dust-free, a property that keeps the environment of your pet healthy for its respiratory system, as well as for you, especially if you are allergic to house dust.

It is highly absorbent, as it can absorb up to 6 times its weight in liquid, and we all know that a dry environment is a healthy environment.

It is very soft and will make your rat feel like a baby every day.

It has odor-absorbent properties. The spice apple scent is due to the use of natural oils.

It is versatile and can be used for different kinds of small pets.



Some people might not want to use scented bedding for their rat. To make sure that your rat is ok with it, try and use some in a small part of the cage and, if your little friend does not have a problem with it, you can use it without worries.

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6. Healthy Pet HPCC Natural Bedding 30 Liter


This paper bedding is great for people who want a high-quality product. It is very popular for more than one reason. First of all, it is 99.9 percent dust-free and, if you read our buying guide, you will see that this is a feature you should look for in beddings when it comes to your rat’s health.

It is made of reclaimed paper fibers that offer a very soft texture. This material is highly absorbent, which makes it great for hiding odor and keeping the environment of your rat dry. It mimics the natural environment of rats and it makes them more interested in burrowing and nesting, very healthy activities for their brains. 

It absorbs two times more than bedding made of wood shavings and it keeps the environment fresh because of its odor control capacity. The reclaimed wood-pulp this bedding is made of makes it more resistant to deterioration because it absorbs moisture and makes the product long-lasting.



It is non-allergenic because it has a high capacity at keeping the environment dust-free, a great feature for your rat’s health, as well as for yours.

It is highly absorbent, a great quality that helps to keep the environment in the cage dry and it reduces the propagation of mold, which is very harmful to your rat, as this bedding absorbs 3 times its weight in liquid.

It comes in a compressed package and it expands two times when you take it out. This makes storage easier because it does not occupy a lot of space.

Healthy Pet is a trusted brand that is widely used and liked by a lot of pet owners and offers great quality for its products.

It is unscented, perfect for people who look for bedding that keeps their rat’s respiratory system healthy.



The brand does not ensure that the product is 100 percent free of chemical use.

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7. Kaytee Red Cedar Bedding


Even though it is said that cedar shavings should be avoided when it comes to choosing good bedding for your rat, that is because usually, cedar shavings bedding retains dust and might contain wood debris. However, Kaytee uses a technology that eliminates dust and debris that may be found in this type of bedding and has managed to make it safe for small pets.

The cedar shavings have been filtered and thoroughly cleaned and have a high capacity for reducing odor. It is not as soft as paper bedding, but it is soft enough not to harm your rat’s skin. Due to its texture, it encourages burrowing and rats feel like it mimics their natural environment.

It is designed to be used in highly ventilated cages and aquariums so that the environment does not encourage moisture retention and mold. It is natural and chemical-free and can be used for different kinds of small pets and birds. 



It goes through a very sophisticated cleaning and filtering process that makes the cedar shavings safe for small pets and transforms it into a good product that is safe to use. 

Even though cedar is not the most appropriate choice for rats, Kaytee has transformed it in a great manner.

It has a high capacity for reducing odor.

The cedar shavings in this product are all-natural and do not have any harsh chemicals that can damage your rat’s health.

The product is not artificially scented so it will not damage the respiratory system of your little friend.



It is not as soft as paper bedding.

Even though Kaytee uses a special cleaning and filtering technology that makes this bedding safer than other products, the cedar wood may still contain fair quantities of phenols, which can be harmful to small pets. However, you should try and see if your rat likes it. If it will not give you signs that it doesn’t like it, this product is safe to use.

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8. Kaytee Clean & Cozy Natural Small Animal Bedding


Clean and Cozy bedding from Kaytee has a great reputation and it is not for false reasons. It is mostly because this product has a lot of awesome features that make it a great choice for your little rat’s nurturing.

It is produced with a technology that makes the paper extra soft and offers your pet a cozy feeling when burrowing and nesting. It has superpowers when it comes to liquid and moisture absorption. It can absorb 6 times its weight in liquid and it is good at not retaining dust.

It is made of recycled fiber strands which are longer than what similar products provide and offer the product higher absorbancy capacities. It is perfect for rats because the bedding is really soft and makes them feel cozy and comfortable. This product is a great choice for people who want to take really good care of their pets.



It has very high absorbency capacities which make it a great choice for keeping your pet’s environment extra dry. Therefore, it will not retain mold, which is harmful to the rat’s respiratory system.

It is 99.9 percent dust-free, great for your rat as well as for people who are allergic to house dust.

It is so soft that your rat will feel like it is walking on clouds. This quality is great for when the rat engages in burrowing and nesting activities because it will feel more pleasant and comfortable.

It has great odor masking capacities so it will keep the environment in the cage fresh.

It is natural and it is not artificially scented, being safer than other similar products.



The bag it comes in is not resealable and if you open it, you have to store it in a dry environment so that it does not absorb moisture and, eventually, become moldy.

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9. Carefresh Custom Rabbit Guinea Pig Pet Bedding


This Carefresh Pet Bedding is a product that is perfect for rats and small rodents in general. It is downy and made especially for small pets that like to burrow and nest. Your little friend will love to spend its time inside the cage and will feel very comfortable.

It is 99.9 percent dust-free, keeping the cage clean every day. Freshness will be your pet’s motto from now on because this bedding keeps the cage odorless for up to 10 days. The formula used by Carefresh is natural-based and has the power to suppress ammonia scent. 

It is made of raw paper that hasn’t been chemically treated, a paper that is produced by Carefresh so that it can control what happens to it from the beginning. The bedding is made of paper bits that are 25 percent bigger than other similar products which raise the interest of your rat for burrowing and nesting.



The paper this bedding is made of is 100 percent natural, raw, has never been printed and has never been chemically treated, which is great for your rat’s respiratory system and skin.

It is very soft and engages your little friend to nest and burrow, activities that rats have in their natural environment.

It is 99.9 percent dust-free, a great feature that will keep your pet’s respiratory system healthy, making this product a great choice for people who are allergic to house dust.

It is highly absorbent and can retain 2 times more moisture than bedding made of wood shavings.

It is versatile and can be used for different small pets that like to nest.



It would be awesome if the product would come in a resealable bag. Because it comes in a large quantity, you have to pay attention to where you store it, and it has to be a dry place so that the product will not retain moisture and, eventually, mold.

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Our Comprehensive Buying Guide


Deciding what rat bedding to buy can be a little bit hard, especially if you haven’t owned a rat before. However, we will tell you everything you need to know before deciding which product is best for your little pet. 

As you have probably seen in our rat bedding reviews, here are a few important things you have to look for when buying bedding: the absorbance capacity, the softness, if the manufacturers have used harsh chemicals, if it contains baking soda or not, if it is dust-free, and what it is made of. The quantity and quality are also important.

A few words about the most important features

Every rat bedding review is different depending on the qualities every product has, so we are going to tell you a bit about the most important things you should look into.

Absorbance. For your rat to be healthy, it is essential that its bedding stays dry. As the bedding stays in the cage for many days and you have to put a layer between 1 and 3 inches on the bottom of the cage, moisture can gather and, if the badding is not absorbent enough, it could become a good host for mold, which can create respiratory problems.

Texture. Every creature on earth likes soft things – they usually remind them of the times they were babies. Rats are no exception, as softness reminds them of their mother’s downy fur and gives them a feeling of comfort and coziness. Choosing soft bedding will make your pet friend’s life a lot more pleasant.

Baking soda. Even though products that contain baking soda are considered to be the best rat bedding for reducing odor, there have been many discussions regarding the use of baking soda. 

Some people use baking soda as rat poison, but you should know that bedding that contains baking soda can not kill your rat. The amounts of baking soda that can kill a rat need to be large. However, it could cause some health issues.

They will breathe in the baking soda and they might ingest it during grooming. The bedding that contains baking soda can also retain more dust, so a good choice is to buy one that is baking-soda-free.

Scent. Rats are usually more prone to developing respiratory problems than other small pets, so you should keep them away from scented bedding. If you feel like the cage does not smell good, do not try to spray any fragrance on it. It is best to clean the cage regularly than to cause health problems to your tiny friend.

Dust. There are some types of bedding that retain dust which can be harmful to your rat’s health and can also be harmful to people who are allergic to house dust. Remember that your rat’s cage is in your environment and you have to change the bedding regularly so, if you are allergic, you will be exposed to dust.

The high-quality beddings are almost 100 percent dust-free and keep a healthy environment for your pet.


The materials bedding is made of

There are different types of bedding that can usually be used for different types of small pets. You should know that it is ok to use one which is not made especially for rats. Cheap rat bedding is made of low-quality materials. However, it is not necessary to buy a very expensive product. There are a lot of affordable rat bedding products that do the job very well.

Paper bedding

The safest type of bedding you can use is paper bedding. However, you should know that there are some risks when using it so you have to pay attention to some aspects before you buy it. The best paper bedding is the one made of paper that has never been used before, raw paper. 

Some manufacturers use recycled paper because it is more environmentally friendly, but you always have to think about the fact that, first of all, the paper might have been printed with harsh chemicals. When the paper is recycled, it is bleached and treated with some other chemicals that might hurt sensitive rats. So the best choice is the one made of raw paper.

The texture of the paper is also important, as some manufacturers do not use soft cuttings and it might hurt your tiny friend’s skin. 


Aspen bedding

When it comes to bedding made of wood shavings, Aspen shavings are the safest choice for rats. It is a hardwood that does not contain so many phenols which are dangerous for rats like pine and cedar shavings do. It is dust-free and it is usually cheap and widely available. 

The disadvantage that this bedding has is that it is not as soft as paper bedding. However, it can mimic the natural environment of rats and engages them to burrow and nest, activities that help your rat stay connected to its roots.


Fleece bedding

Fleece bedding is the most environmentally friendly and safest for pets. It is washable and you can use it for a long time. However, you should pay attention so that it does not have any loose threads and small parts that can cause your rat to choke. The only disadvantage this bedding has is that it requires more cleaning and some rats might chew on it.


What are the bedding types you should avoid?

There are some products you should avoid like cedar and pine shavings that have a lot of dangerous phenols that can harm your rat’s health. Corn cob bedding is not a good choice, either, because it can harm your rat when swallowed and retains mold. Cat litter retains a lot of dust which is also harmful to rats.


Frequently Asked Questions: 


Q: What bedding does a rat need?

Rats do not usually need anything special when it comes to bedding, they are like most other small pets, so it is ok to use universal bedding that can be used for rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, and hedgehogs. However, the perfect bedding should have high absorbency capacity.

Also, it is best that the bedding doesn’t have any harsh chemicals that might harm their respiratory system. A great choice is one that has a natural scent and has no extra scented oils, as some rats might be sensitive.

As long as the bedding keeps a dry environment that does not have any ammonia vapors and dust, your pet rat should be very happy while the bedding is used according to the general recommendations that we have talked about in this buying guide. The only bedding you should avoid is the one made of cedar and pine shavings if it is not properly treated.

Q: How often should I change my rat’s bedding?

It is very important to understand that every animal has different needs. It is important to notice your rat’s behavior and how often and how much it urinates and defecates. How often you change the bedding depends on its habits and on how absorbent the bedding is.

However, a good practice is to change the bedding once a week as long as you clean it every day. It is recommended that you also clean and disinfect the cage before putting in the fresh bedding because even if the product you are using is highly absorbent, there can still be dried urine on the bottom of the cage.

It is not a problem if you change the bedding more often. If you are using good absorbent bedding, you can also leave it in the cage for 10 days, as the bedding can keep the cage odor-free for about 10 to 14 days. However, the odor is not always the biggest problem when we talk about hygiene.


Q: Can you litter train a rat?

If you are familiar with any behavioral research study made on rats, you probably know that you can train a rat to do a lot of things you have never thought of. And yes, you can litter train it, too.

A good practice is to train rats to use the litter when they are young. However, practice has shown us that adult rats can be trained as well. A great way to do that is to keep the cage extra clean and decide where you want to place the litter tray. 

You should put some clean bedding on the tray, but also some dirty bedding, so that your tiny friend can remember that the tray is the place it needs to use any time it wants to pee, for example. But the most important thing you have to do is to keep the cage clean, as we have said before so that your rat can smell the difference.



Irina Ionescu

As a long-term learner and animal lover, Irina helps her readers find the best products and accessories for their pets, as well as the latest training techniques, tips & tricks on how to handle animals.

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