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Guinea Pig Bedding: What’s Best For Your Furry Friend?

guinea pig bedding

Guinea pig bedding is essentially what your guinea pig lives on. Whether you use bedding across the bottom of their enclosure or strictly in their litter box, guinea pig bedding plays a big role in your pet’s environment. 

No, it’s not just something they poo on. It’s something they breathe in every day and it keeps their enclosure (and themselves!) clean and dry. At least, that’s the goal.

guinea pig bedding

Your cavy needs a clean and dry space to live but also a space free from chemicals and irritants. When you use bedding that's both functional and natural you can sleep easy at night knowing you’ve got your cavy taken care of. 

You can even brag about being a great parent if you want. 

Where To Start When Shopping For Guinea Pig Bedding

There isn’t just one option for healthy guinea pig bedding. You may find you like wood shavings better than paper bedding and that’s great. Before we talk about the different options, let’s run through what to look for and what to avoid when checking out guinea pig bedding packages.

Find bedding that has been specifically made for guinea pigs. Guinea pig bedding is not a time for DIY. Using things like old newspapers exposes your cavy to the chemicals used when printing the paper. Guinea pig paper bedding needs to be made from paper that has never been printed on before

Additionally, don’t use cat litter for your guinea pig. Clay cat litter will clump together when wet so that it’s easier to clean out the litter box. However, guinea pigs are curious and explore the world with their mouths. Clay bedding that clumps together in their stomach can cause a serious blockage. 

Stick to guinea pig bedding! Here are three things to look for when checking packages. 

Low Dust

Dust can come from paper or wood bedding so it’s important to be aware of who you’re buying your bedding from. Quality guinea pig bedding will be labeled low dust. Companies that know guinea pigs know that dust particles can mess with a guinea pig’s respiratory system.

Imagine springtime allergies all the time… not a good time. Make sure dust is minimized when it comes to guinea pig bedding. 


Some paper-based beddings are made from the leftovers of reclaimed paper production. These leftovers are called sludge and they contain a toxin called dioxin. Make sure any paper bedding you buy for your cavies is labeled sludge-free. 

No Artificial Scents 

Scented guinea pig bedding is a lot of fun. It can be tempting to want something special for your guinea pig. However, if the bedding is scented with chemicals you aren’t doing your guinea pig any favors. The bedding may seem lightly scented to you, however you need to consider things from your guinea pig’s perspective.

best bedding for guinea pigs

Small Pet Select does have bedding options that are naturally scented and we will talk more about those in a minute! 

Guinea Pig Bedding Options

Now it’s time to run through the different options here at Small Pet Select. Once you’ve found quality bedding, you check for your individual needs. 

Are you looking to compost your bedding? Are you open to using two different types of bedding? How often do you want to change your bedding?  Are you looking for something simple or something more unique like scented bedding? 

White Paper Bedding

Soft White Paper Bedding is one of the most popular choices for guinea pig bedding. It’s 99% dust-free, sludge-free, unbleached, and the paper has never been printed on. 

It’s incredibly soft under your cavy’s feet and the white color makes it easy to spot clean in between deep cleanings. 

Our white paper bedding is not 100% biodegradable. It is 95% biodegradable but due to the 5% food-grade binder fibers that don’t break down, it’s not compatible with composting. 

However, our brown paper bedding is excellent for composting!

Brown Paper Bedding

Soft Brown Paper Bedding brings all of the pros of white paper bedding but since it’s made with 100% Cellulose fiber it’s perfect for compost. 

The brown color makes it a little harder to spot clean but that’s not important to everyone. Especially those with a herd of cavies. Some parents are ready to dump it all into the compost and start fresh without worrying about spot cleaning. 

Aspen Shavings Bedding

Our Aspen Shavings Bedding is shaved from logs and heat-treated. Low-dust, sludge-free, and no aromatic oils. This is a great option for those wanting to add their bedding to the compost pile. 

guinea pig bedding

You’ll want to remove damp spots or fluff the bedding to avoid urine scald where your cavy stands. Aspen shavings may need to be changed more than soft paper bedding as it’s slightly less absorbent. But if you’re looking for a natural wood option this is your best bet!  

Paper Pellet Bedding

Paper Pellet Bedding is great for people who are planning on spot cleaning and then saving the deep cleaning (complete replacement of bedding) for once a week (up to 10 days). 

You need to have 2 inches of bedding in the litter box but you can easily see the soiled bedding to remove that and replace it with more to maintain the 2 inches. 

Low dust and no chemicals - another great option for our best guinea pig bedding list!

Pine Pellet Bedding 

This Pine Pellet Bedding is very dense and absorbent. It’s also 100% compostable. However, it’s not as soft as our paper bedding and shouldn’t be used with animals with sore or sensitive paws. 

Some people will layer their bedding and put a softer option on top of pellet bedding. Pine Pellet bedding helps with odor control without the addition of any harmful chemicals. 

Scented Paper Bedding 

Small Pet Select has two options for naturally scented bedding, Rose White Paper Bedding and Lavender Paper Bedding. These combine the soft feel our animals love with a subtle scent from lavender and rose bud infusion. 

Guinea Pig Bedding You Can Trust

Guinea pig parents want what's best for their cavy. Because they want as many happy healthy years as they can with them! While diet plays a huge role in that, their environment plays a significant role as well. 

For pets, a clean environment equals good hygiene. Proper bedding keeps their space dry and minimizes odor so they can get on with all the fun and avoid skin infections or respiratory issues. 

When shopping for bedding don’t make the mistake of believing this is just something to potty on, it’s their health and hygiene!


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