11 Best Outdoor and Indoor Rabbit Bedding Ideas & Alternative

What should you put in the bottom of a rabbit cage or what should a rabbit sleep on while in their hutches? Will hay, straw, old newspaper, cardboard, wood shavings, pellets be ideal, or must you go for the commercially available bedding?


Taking good care of your rabbit is essential for its being healthy, clean, live longer, and be happy. Whereas many people invest in safe housing for their bunnies, groom them daily, and provide them with the right diet, they often forget to give them sleeping bedding (both for indoor and outdoor bunnies).

When it comes to bedding, you have two options, line the whole cage with the bedding or have a compartment in your hutch where the rabbit can escape and sleep. The second option will need a bigger cage size.

The bedding should be soft and comfortable to allow your bunnies to burrow, sleep and play on it. Also, it should prevent sores on legs.

What should you look for in rabbit bedding?

Good bedding should possess several attributes which include:

  • Control odor: An odor control mechanism is fundamental to avoid foul smells from your hutches, especially the ammonia smell from urine. For instance, the Vitakraft Fresh World Bedding is a formula that can control odor for up to 14 days making it one of the best rabbit bedding for odor control.
  • Safe: Since your bunnies will spend a lot of time on them, they should not affect their health in any way such as being toxic or causing some illnesses.
  • Absorbent: This is an essential consideration as they should be able to absorb anything thrown at them. This will benefit not only you but also your bunnies as they will remain cleaner, drier and comfortable.
  • Comfortable: Be comfortable with them since your bunnies will spend the most time on them.
  • Eco-friendly: Go for the renewable, sustainable, and biodegradable to avoid adverse impact on the environment.
  • Dust-free: They should be free of dust since dust will make grooming your rabbits cumbersome.

Besides the above, other factors such as availability, durability, affordability, being edible, ink-free, and so on should be factored in to ensure you go for only the best.

Best rabbit bedding to buy

Besides making your bedding at home, you can get some of the best brands in the market, some of which are also the best rabbit bedding for odor control include:

Carefresh Small Pet Bedding

This Carefresh brand is at the top of the jungle when it comes to the best rabbit beddings with a lot of people happy and positively recommending it even for rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, chinchillas, gerbils among other small animals. Why is that so?

To begin with, it is very soft and fluffy, meaning that your pet will be very comfortable. Furthermore, it is twice more absorbent than shavings and will control odor for not less than ten days.

Secondly, it is 99% dust-free and straightforward to clean, making it safe for their respiratory tract. If you have been using dusty brands, it’s time to switch to Carefresh.  

Finally, it is very affordable despite being made from scratch, and you have an option of buying 10L, 14L, 30L, 50L, and 60L. Besides the natural ones, you can buy the Carefresh Complete Natural Paper Bedding Confetti, White, and Blue colored paper bedding for a more alluring looking bunny cage or hutch.  When purchasing it, simply hoover to the color you need and select it.Carefresh Small Pet Bedding

Check Latest Prices

If need litters for your rabbits, guinea pigs and other pets ideal for nesting, go for Carefresh Custom Rabbit/Guinea Pig Pet Bedding as it made with slightly larger pieces.

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding

The second contender, when it comes to bedding for bunnies and other small animals like gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, and chinchillas, is Kaytee, a common household name. It comes in 12.3L. 24.6L, 49.2L, and 85L.

Some of the reasons why this brand has a good reputation are its ability to absorb up to six times its weight of liquids and twice as absorbent as wood shavings, being 99.5% dust-free, and odor-controlling ability.

It is one brand whose raw materials that meet the FDA standards. Also, it is super soft and will encourage some natural behaviors like nesting and burrowing.  

Finally, you can choose several colors as well as varying scents, including the summer storm and lavender. Popular colors besides the white are:

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding

Check Latest Prices

Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding 

These beddings ink-free beddings are 100% safe for your rabbits and guinea pigs. No harmful chemicals have been added, and the manufacturer uses only pure, never printed, or bleached papers.

Furthermore, they are expandable with each bag expanding for up to three times its packed volume.

Finally, they are very absorbent, soft, and very comfortable for your pets. You cannot go wrong with these brands.Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding

Check Latest Prices

Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding for Small Animals 

What makes Vitakraft an excellent choice by many people is its superior odor-controlling ability that works for up to two weeks. Furthermore, they are free of baking soda, compostable, and biodegradable.

The other attributes they have to include being useful in absorbing moisture (expands up to three times), are made from 100% recycled papers (eco-friendly) and are 99. 5% dust-free.

Finally, they are safe, very soft, less messy, and will make cleaning your hutch or cage very easy.Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding for Small Animals

Check Latest Prices

Kaytee Clean & Cozy Extreme Odor Control

Kaytee Clean & Cozy Extreme Odor Control bedding 99.9% dust-free, has superior odor control of 14 days, absorbs six times liquid as its weight, and will neutralize strong odors leaving your cage smelling so fresh. It is also soft and so fluffy like the previous brand we have discussed.

Buying this brand if an awful odor, and you can use it in your rabbit, guinea pig, dwarf hamster, gerbil, chinchilla, and Syrian hamster cage or hutch.Kaytee Clean & Cozy Extreme Odor Control

Check Latest Prices

Carefresh Shavings Plus Small Pet Bedding

Carefresh Shaving Plus has 30% comfy fluffy paper to ensure your pets are as comfortable as possible. It will control odor for about five days, and more absorbent than shavings by at least 60%. The shavings are kiln-dried, and there are no dyes or chemical additives, making it very safe for your pets.

Check Latest Prices

So Phresh Paper Pellet Small Animal Litter

So Phresh Paper Pellets utilizes is made using 100% recycled natural paper pellets and so baking soda to help in odor control. You can use it in any small animal habitat, is biodegradable, and can be composited, making it environment-friendly.

These fast moisture absorbing pellets lock moisture without breaking apart when they are wet, a reason why you should consider them.So Phresh Paper Pellet Small Animal Litter

Check Latest Prices

Fresh News Paper Small Animal Litter, 10,000-Cubic Centimeter

Fresh News Paper Small Animal Litter is safe for small animals like ferrets, rabbits, and others. It is made using recycled paper, making it biodegradable and compostable. Alternatively, you can incinerate it.

When compared to clay or wood, it is more absorbent and will get rid of odors, thanks to its Ammonia Locker Technology, keeping your cage or hutch smelling fresh.

Finally, it is dust-free, long-lasting, and cost-effective. You save trees each time you use this brand.Fresh News Paper Small Animal Litter, 10,000-Cubic Centimeter

Check Latest Prices

Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Bedding for Pet Cages

This granular bedding available in original and lavender colors is very absorbent and can hold as much as three times liquid as its weight.

Furthermore, it is comfortable, safe, and can be a not only nutritious but also tasty treat since it is made from wood fibers. Use it for not just your rabbits but also birds, reptiles, and other small animals.Kaytee Soft Granule Blend Bedding for Pet Cages

Check Latest Prices

Small Pet Select All Natural Pellet Bedding

If you prefer pellets, this brand is another incredible pelleted bedding made using pine, making it very dense and more absorbent. It is safe, has no irritants, additives or toxins found in wood stove pellets.

Furthermore, don’t worry about sore hocks, stained fur, or urine scalds, as it won’t cause any of these problems.

Finally, once you are done using it, you can recycle it as green manure or composite it, another good thing about these pellets.Small Pet Select All Natural Pellet Bedding

Check Latest Prices

Healthy Pet HPCC Natural bedding

This brand absorbs up to three times its weight and expands about two times, meaning you will use lesser amounts. It will suppress urine odor caused by the presence of ammonia, is soft, and will ensure your pet is very comfortable and warm.

Finally, expect minimal respiratory issues since this brand is dust-free. Your pet will be less messy, even if they love burrowing. After using it, take it to your composite since it is biodegradable.Healthy Pet HPCC Natural bedding

Check Latest Prices

Other best bunny beddings include

  • Yesterday’s News Rabbit Litter (10-lb bag)
  • YESTERDAY’S NEWS PRODUCTS 702303 Yesterday’s News Cat Litter
  • Kaytee Small Animal Potty Training Litter

The list of best bunny bedding is endless. However, before buying any, do some online research, see what users are saying about them, and consult your vet on what will be ideal.

We have a separate discussion on both the best rabbit litter boxes and rabbit litter alternatives.

The best bedding for rabbit alternatives and ideas

When it comes to what you can use as bedding for your rabbits, you have a long list. However, it is essential to ensure your choice does not affect your rabbit’s health or make grooming it difficult.

Some of the popular options you could go for include:

1. Newspaper and paper shavings

It is readily available and affordable. Unfortunately, when bored, some bunnies can tear it apart, and if much newspaper is ingested it may not be 100% safe since it has ink. Therefore, ensure the ink is non-toxic.

Alternatively, you can put some hay or straws over your newspaper or shred it into smaller pieces

2. Wood pellets for rabbits

These are commonly used in a cat’s litter tray. They can also be great rabbit bedding pellets since they have superior absorbency but tends to swell and break down if it becomes too wet. Also, their heavyweight makes them not so ideal for larger areas.

3. Paper pellets or paper pulp bedding

They are like wood pellets but are of lightweight, do not expand much when they absorb liquids, are eco-friendly and safe. They are made from recycled newspapers.

4. Megazorb for rabbits

The Hay Experts, UK, states that it is made from “a virgin wood pulp product which is taken and dried at a high temperature (500oC). This kills off the chance of any molds, spores or bacteria being present in the bedding.”

Besides being sterilized, this natural dried wood pulp is dust-free, has superior absorbency abilities (10 times better than hay), helps regulate odor (absorbs odor), is biodegradable and environment-friendly.

5. Shredded cardboard

It is an excellent alternative to the newspaper, has a good absorbency level, it is eco-friendly and will insulate your bunnies well. Ensure the specific cardboard is safe.

6. Hay

Hay is popularly used by many rabbit keepers and easy to find. It is comfortable, cozy, edible and a lot cheaper. Before using it, ensure your hay is dry, free of molds, dust and smells sweet. It is the most recommended together with straws.

7. Straw

The straw will provide a very comfortable surface for your bunnies to rest on, it is warm and offers excellent insulation.

8. Wood shavings

You can also use hardwood shavings. Besides, aspen, the hardwood shavings such as spruce, fir, hemlock can also be used.

9. What about Aspen

You have heard of aspen bedding for rabbits such as the Kaytee Aspen Bedding Bag and Green Pet Aspen Supreme Pellets Pet and Bird All-Natural by Kaytee. This is nothing other than pellets, chips, shavings and fine shaving obtained from the aspen tree. You can use it to make your bunny’s bedding.

What to avoid – pine and cedar

Studies have revealed that the use of softwood shavings especially pine and cedar to be harmful to your bunnies which according to Rabbit.org causes “alterations in the liver’s enzymes, which can alter your rabbit’s ability to handle standard drug” that a vet will use to treat your bunny if it is unwell.

Most affected drugs include xylazine, ketamine, dexamethasone, butorphanol, theophylline, among others. Secondly, they are believed to increase cancer risks, something has little concrete evidence.

Some sources discourage the use of corn cob bedding as “isn’t absorbent and doesn’t control odor, and has the risk of being eaten and casing a lethal blockage.”

Using, care and cleaning

Typically, the bedding should be lined to form a thick cushion, and the depth of the lining depends on the size of your bunny.  For normal-sized rabbits, put them to depths of 5 to 6 inches. Larger bunnies will need more material.

Rabbit bedding should be checked daily. Spot-clean any dirty parts (scoop out and replace soiled areas). This will help reduce the chances of flystrike, especially in warmer seasons.

Once a week or as you will find necessary, replace the bedding and thoroughly clean their hutches.

Where to buy them?

There are many places to get bedding for your bunny which include your local pet stores, at Walmart, or online stores such as Amazon.com, Chewy.com, eBay.com, Vetuk.co.uk, among others.

Also, use search engines as well as sites such as OLX to locate any sellers around you.

Although buying in bulk will be affordable, if not well stored, they can be unsuitable especially if they grow molds.

Leave a Comment