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The Ideal Bedding?

Looking for that perfect bedding? The one that is cheap, proven healthy for you and your guinea pigs, super absorbent, neutralizes urine, only needs to be changed once a week at most, light weight, smells good to you and your piggies or doesn't smell at all, is non-allergenic, doesn't make a mess when cleaning, readily available in stores near you, available online for direct shipment, and environmentally friendly? When you find it, let us know! The bedding solution that will work for you is a matter of trade-offs. You must balance your priorities between your resources and your decisions about the health and welfare of your guinea pigs and your family.

Below are just a few bedding options. We will be adding more over time. Please note, we are working on a very comprehensive new site for adding many more options, products and reviews. Coming soon!


  • Aspen is a hardwood shaving which does not have the problems with phenols associated with the softwood beddings such as pine and cedar.
  • Aspen can be hard to find and very hard to find in large quantities.
  • PJ Murphy's Sani-Chips

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CareFRESH® Premium Soft Bedding

Available in Natural™, Ultra™, Colors and Confetti™

  • Website:
  • Videos:
  • Vet Recommended!
  • CareFRESH® is soft, all-natural bedding made from repurposed wood pulp.
  • It’s safe and comfortable for your pet!
  • New natural odor control formula suppresses ammonia odors nearly 3x longer than original CareFRESH!
  • Absorbs 3x its weight in liquid to keep pets dry and comfortable.
  • It’s fun for nesting and burrowing, and encourages natural behaviors for physical and mental exercise.
  • CareFRESH is soft and comfy for pets; easy on their feet and provides warmth for sleeping. Habitat cleaning and changing are a snap!
  • Earth-friendly CareFRESH is made from a sustainable resource and is biodegradable and compostable.
  • Made in the USA.
  • For a Happy Habitat, add CareFRESH Litter Plus, CareFRESH Complete Menu for Guinea Pigs & CareFRESH Timothy Hay!


CareFRESH® Litter Plus for Larger Species

  • Website:
  • Video:
  • Vet Recommended! CareFRESH® Litter Plus™ for large species is lightweight, low dust, and really absorbent!
  • Our new odor control formula keeps habitats fresher longer!
  • It's safe and comfortable for your pet!
  • The mix of chunky pellets and colorful bedding bits are perfect for guinea pigs!
  • Quickly absorbs 2.5x its weight to keep pets dry and comfortable.
  • Use under bedding or in litter pans.
  • Does not clump and stick to cage bottom, making cleanup easy!
  • Earth-friendly Litter Plus is made from sustainable resources and is biodegradable and compostable.
  • Made in the USA
  • For a Happy Habitat, add CareFRESH Premium Soft Bedding, CareFRESH Complete Menu for Guinea Pigs & CareFRESH Timothy Hay!


  • Everyone agrees that cedar is TOXIC to guinea pigs and other small animals.
  • See the Pine Info Page for more details

Cell-Sorb Plus

  • Mfg site:
  • "Cell-Sorb PlusTM is 400% more absorbent than wood shavings.
    It even pulls the moisture out of and dries the feces."

  • Cell-Sorb has excellent absorption properties and is great at neutralizing the urine and preventing ammonia.

  • Cell-Sorb is a heavy bedding and fairly expensive, although it does last longer than pine and regular paper-based beddings.

  • Generally, the best price is about $20 for a 40 pound bag.

  • Online Sources and Local Distributors

Corn Cob

  • This bedding is generally not recommended as suitable for guinea pigs.
  • It molds fairly quickly.
  • Guinea pigs have been know to eat it. Particles can get stuck on food.
  • If ingested and the guinea pig drinks water, it swells up and does not break down, creating a potentially serious blockage.
  • Pieces can get lodged in the genital/anal area causing medical problems.

Hunt Club Small Pet Health Bedding


  • Pine is readily available everywhere and is inexpensive.
  • Most people advise buying only "kiln-dried" pine. Some people argue all pine is "kiln-dried." It is not. Some pine is "air-dried."
  • Pine gives off aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) which is the problem with cedar, although per the available documentation, the risk of pine appears to be less than that associated risk with cedar.
  • Some people argue that pine is also toxic to small animals (in addition to cedar). 
  • Some people say their guinea pigs have lived on pine their entire lives and are just fine.
  • The Pine Info Page provides some of the details on the pine issue. This page has as many references as possible with original content about pine and cedar. There are multitudes of sites which repeat most of this content.
    - Even one of the most widely available brands of pine in pet stores, Kaytee, states on their website - even though their shavings are kiln-dried:
    *Recommended for open, well ventilated cages and aquariums.
    *Not recommended for closed environments, such as habitrails or in aquariums with limited ventilation.
    *Contains aromatic oils
    *For optimal health and safety, provide a grate to separate pet from soiled litter
    (which of course is NOT RECOMMENDED for cavies).
    The natural pine oils help suppress microorganisms and provides a clean, fresh aroma.
    - Petstell pine shavings, another popular brand in pet stores, also states on their site that their shavings are kiln-dried.


  • If it smells like pine, then you are smelling the phenols (kiln-dried or not), you need to do something to reduce your guinea pig's exposure.
  • Airing out the pine will allow some additional residual phenols to evaporate.
  • Covering the pine with a layer of hay may prevent some or most of the phenols from evaporating.
  • Covering the pine with a layer of more absorbent material, such as CareFresh, should even further reduce any phenols from escaping.
  • If the pine smells resinous, consider returning it and trying a different brand.



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Wood Pellets

  • Wood pellets are very cheap, by weight. They can be found for $3 to $8 for a 40 pound bag, $5 being typical. By volume, pine shavings are much cheaper.
  • Wood pellets tend to last a couple of days longer than pine shavings and paper-based beddings.
  • WARNING: Make sure that you are buying 100% wood pellets. Make sure there are NO accelerants added! Accelerants are the chemicals used to make lighting fires faster and easier. Wood pellets are normally sold into the wood stove market.
  • Wood pellets are extremely heavy. You will need more pellets to cover the same square footage. For example, a 2 x 4 grid cage that used one bag of CareFresh, required two 40 pound bags of wood pellets. That's 80 pounds of bedding to haul in, put in the cage, clean out of the cage, haul out, and dispose of.
  • Wood pellets break down into sawdust when wet. Most of the time, the sawdust will be on the bottom of the cage and pellets will remain on top. But not always. Sawdust is recognized by the vast majority of cavy people to be unacceptable as bedding.
  • While some people will say they have been using wood pellets for bedding with their cavies for years with no problems, wood pellets have not been studied or approved as safe for small animals.
  • Clean up is messier. The sawdust at the bottom of the cage when doing a full cleaning is messier to deal with.


  • Look for stores that sell wood stoves to find a supplier of wood pellets. They may also be found in home improvement stores.
  • Wood pellets are very hard. You will probably find you need to add some other bedding in with them or cover them with something else. Guinea pigs simply cannot run well or be comfortable on pure wood pellets. Try mixing in or covering with Aspen shavings or CareFresh.
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Woody Pet

  • Mfg site:  
  • "Raw White Soft Wood Shavings and Sawdust undergoes extreme processing which extracts most of the resins, oils, tars, acids and water from the wood fiber. Exiting the milling process the product is completely sterile in granulated form and has become an extreme absorbent. Looks like, but does not taste like Granola. We have eliminated the Dangerous Aromatic Hydrocarbons . There are NO ADDITIVES of any kind in this product, it is 100% Biodegradable Sterile Wood Fiber."
  • This bedding may be too granular. If anyone is using it, please let us know in the forum how it well it works.
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Yesterday's News

  • Yesterday's news cat litter is made from specially treated recycled newspapers.
  • Pet-Expo


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