13 Best Beddings for Gerbils

Did you know?

Gerbils live in a complex colony of burrows in the wild that can go as deep as 1.7 and can be spread across anywhere from 6-8 meters.

And to keep your gerbils happy, you need to provide similar conditions.

Therefore, selecting the best beddings for gerbils is just as important as providing them with clean water. That’s because the right bedding will help them build compact tunnels and stay healthy.

So if you agree with us, let’s hop into it!

Carefresh Complete Pet BeddingNatural Paper60-liters Check Price
Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal BeddingRecycled Fiber Strands49.2-liters Check Price
Kaytee Aspen Bedding BagNatural Aspen Wood113.2-liters Check Price
Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper BeddingUnbleached Virgin Fiber178-liters Check Price
Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble BeddingNon-toxic
Recycled Paper
35-liters Check Price
Kaytee Kay-KOB Bedding and LitterCorncob8-pound Check Price
Fresh News Paper Small Animal LitterRecycled Bio-degradable Paper10-liters Check Price

1. Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding



 Key Facts
  • Brand: Carefresh
  • Size: 60-liters
  • Material: Natural Paper

Carefresh gerbil beddings are amongst the best beddings you can buy for your small pets like hamsters or gerbils.

But what’s so special about this bedding?

This bedding is made out of natural fiber and is much comfier than normal wooden shavings that can sometimes hurt your gerbils. That often happens when a

And that’s not all:

The material this bedding is made out of is more absorbent than and Carefresh claims that it remains odorless for 10 days at least. However, some people have disagreed to that.

Also, because this bedding is not made out of any natural material, it does not attract that much dust and as a result causes lesser allergies.

 Things I really like
  • Uses a unique fiber that provides great comfort to gerbils
  • Carefresh claims that it remains odorless for at least 10 days
  • Does not attracts dust and hence causes fewer allergies
 Things I don’t like
  • Some users have complained of the bedding being smelly

2. Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Small Pet Select
  • Size: 178-liters
  • Material: Unusued Natural Paper

This amazing bedding from Small Pet Select is one that lies somewhere between the synthetic and natural spectrum.

This company makes these incredible beddings from completely raw paper that has never been used and isn’t recycled or printed.

Therefore, this bedding is comfortable for all kinds of small pets, including your gerbils.

But that’s not all:

According to Small Pet Select, this bedding can expand up to 3 times its packaged volume, which means that it has great absorption properties.

However, one common complaint that users have made is that this bedding can start to smell after a few days of use, so be prepared for regular cleaning.

 Things I really like
  • Made of unused paper and can give strength to burrows
  • Is soft and provide a comfortable base for your gerbils
  • Costs less than other expensive brands
 Things I don’t like
  • Has lesser volume so more quantity is needed
  • Some users have complained of it not being as absorbent and being smelly

3. Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Size: 49.2-liters
  • Material: Recycled Fiber Strands

If you’re looking for synthetic bedding with a variety of options to choose from, then Kaytee Clean & Cozy beddings are for you.

To start off, the basic material these beddings are constructed out of is recycled fiber which gives it several properties like better absorbency and comfort.

So not only can this bedding absorb 2 times as much liquid as normal wood shavings, but they are much softer and comfier for your gerbils.

More than that, these beddings provide strength to the burrows that your gerbils will dig and will help them in nesting.

Plus, this bedding is dust resistant so you do not need to worry about any sort of allergic reaction in your gerbils.

But that’s not all:

Kaytee Clean & Cozy beddings are available in many different colors as well as scents in addition to the bedding itself being odorless.

 Things I really like
  • Made of synthetic fiber so is comfortable
  • Are 2 times more absorbent than wood shavings
  • Available in different colors and scents
  • Odorless and dust resistant properties make it safer
 Things I don’t like
  • Quality might differ from pack to pack
  • Some users have complained of the bedding being hard and uncomfortable

4. Kaytee Aspen Bedding Bag


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Size: 113.2-liters
  • Material: Natural Aspen Wood

For those people who favor natural beddings to synthetic ones, the Kaytee Aspen bedding is the way to go.

Aspen wood shavings are perhaps one of the best choices when it comes to beddings for gerbils, and this bedding provides just that.

It is made out of totally natural Aspen wood and does not contain any extra features like scents and colorings, which can sometimes cause an allergic reaction.

The bedding is treated to remove dust particles so they don’t suffer from any respiratory problems.

More so, the bedding can absorb liquids quite well, although not as much as some synthetic materials so it might need regular replacement.

Lastly, because aspen is a natural material, it is biodegradable, unlike synthetic materials that take a long time to decompose.

 Things I really like
  • Pure, natural wood shavings with no unnecessary scents or treatments
  • Cheaper than beddings made from synthetic material
  • Combined with tissue or paper, it would make the best gerbil bedding for tunnels
 Things I don’t like
  • Might not be as comfortable as some fiber beddings

5. Kaytee Extreme Odor Control Bedding


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Size: 40-liters
  • Material: Recycled Fiber Strands

It’s not uncommon for gerbils to make your room smell like a barn. And for people with sensitive senses, this can really start to become an issue.

If you too are tired of using tons of air fresheners to neutralize the smell in your house, then the Kaytee Extreme Odor Control is the bedding for you.

This bedding from Kaytee is a step upwards from there standard Clean & Cozy bedding and has all of the same properties.

It is also made from recycled fiber which can absorb twice as much moisture than regular wood shavings.

The comfort is still there and this bedding is also dust resistant.

However, what’s different is a 14-day odor control guarantee by Kaytee so you won’t have to go through the effort it takes to get rid of that urine.

 Things I really like
  • 14-day odor control helps in fighting the smell caused by gerbils urinating
  • Twice as absorbent as wood shavings so last longer
  • Made from recycled fiber so is much comfier than other alternatives
  • Free from dust so would cause lesser allergies and respiratory illnesses
 Things I don’t like
  • Some users have complained of the bedding being overly-scented

6. Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding Confetti


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Carefresh
  • Size: 10-liters
  • Material: Natural Paper

Carefresh has long been a reliable brand of beddings when it comes to small animals including gerbils.

These beddings are made from a special kind of fiber which is 2 times as absorbent as wood shavings.

It is super comfortable and combined with some shredded paper or paper towels, will work wonders in helping your gerbils build stable burrows.

This bedding will also contain any kind of odor for up to 10 days of use and is free of any dust so you won’t have to worry about allergies.

Furthermore, these beddings are available in a confetti color scheme so you can make your cage look even better and more colorful.

 Things I really like
  • Absorbs twice as much moisture as wood shavings
  • Odor control for up to 10 days according to Carefresh
  • Made from a dustproof and comfortable fiber
  • Confetti coloring makes your cage seem even more appealing
 Things I don’t like
  • Might cost more than other alternatives such as aspen wood shavings
  • Some people have complained of the bedding not containing odor very effectively

7. Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Small Pet Select
  • Size: 178-liters
  • Material: Unbleached Virgin Fiber

Paper bedding has many benefits over other beddings, including the fact that it allows your gerbils to make stronger and more stable tunnels.

This paper bedding from Small Pet Select is made from completely unused paper so you don’t have to worry about causing harm to your gerbils’ health.

The white color of the bedding allows you to replace only the small portion that has been soiled, so you save more effort and bedding.

Because the paper is compressed into smaller pieces, it has excellent absorbency while still being comfortable.

More so, the bedding is 99% dust resistant so you don’t have to worry about your gerbils getting an allergy.

 Things I really like
  • Made from compressed paper so it has great moisture-absorbing ability
  • Comfortable and dust resistant so it doesn’t cause allergies
  • White color makes it easier to replace soiled portions and allows you to save bedding for later
 Things I don’t like
  • Might start to smell after some use and will need complete replacement

8. Small Pet Select Aspen Bedding


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Small Pet Select
  • Size: 113-liters
  • Material: Natural Aspen Wood

This great bedding by Small Pet Select fulfills all the necessary requirements for wood-based bedding without having any useless, extra features.

Inside the bag, you will find aspen wood shavings obtained from the best quality logs. These shavings are kiln-dried so you can be sure that they will absorb moisture particularly well.

The shavings aren’t treated with any kind of special perfumes or chemicals, so there isn’t any threat of an allergic reaction within your gerbils.

Wood shavings are also much cheaper than other beddings that are made from synthetic fibers. Such synthetic beddings can cost much more and won’t cover as much of the cage as well.

More so, wood shavings are recyclable and decomposable so you’re not harming the environment in any way.

 Things I really like
  • Kiln-dried aspen wood shavings which are safe and absorb moisture well
  • A cheaper alternative to other more expensive beddings.
  • Are denser than other fiber beddings so a smaller quantity covers a larger part
 Things I don’t like
  • Some packs might have a little dust still left in them

9. Vitakraft Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Vitakraft
  • Size: 35-liters
  • Material: Non-toxic Recycled Paper

Vitakraft Fresh World is the bedding for people who want an effective yet environment-friendly alternative.

What’s unique with this Fresh World Strength Crumble Bedding is that it is made out of 100% recyclable paper acquired from a well-known recycling organization called PaperGator.

However, this recycled paper is completely safe to use and doesn’t hold any harmful chemicals that might make your gerbils sick.

The bedding is soft and comfortable and has the capability to absorb 3 times its own weight.

Moreover, the bedding can control odor for up to 14-days and is dust free to almost 99.5% which means you don’t have to worry about making your gerbils sick.

According to Vitakraft, this bedding can also be composted after use, so not only are you making a better decision for your gerbils but for the environment as well.

 Things I really like
  • Soft and comfortable paper bedding which is safe from harmful ink or chemicals
  • Made from 100% recyclable paper which can be composted later on
  • 14-day odor control allows the cage and your room to smell fresh
  • Dust-free properties make it less likely to cause allergies or respiratory problems
 Things I don’t like
  • It costs a little more than other beddings in the market

10. Kaytee Kay-KOB Bedding and Litter


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Kaytee
  • Size: 8-pounds
  • Material: Corncob

A combination of two or three different types of beddings make up the perfect cage, and you definitely want this corn cob bedding from Kaytee to be your base layer for many reasons.

These corn cob bedding do an excellent job at containing the foul smell of urine that any bedding will start to release only after a few days.

But this Kaytee Kay-Kob bedding will help you keep the smell at bay and will stop your cage and room from stinking all of the time.

More so, this bedding is dust-free so you don’t have to worry about giving your gerbils respiratory problems.

However, because corncob beddings are much harder, you want to use it on the base only or mix it up with a couple of other softer beddings to maintain comfort for your gerbils.

 Things I really like
  • Greatly reduces the release of odor
  • Is 99.9% dust-free so it won’t cause respiratory issues
  • Does not stick and so is easier to clean up
 Things I don’t like
  • Isn’t very comfortable so has to be combined with softer beddings

11. Fresh News Paper Small Animal Litter


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Fresh News
  • Size: 10-liters
  • Material: Recycled Bio-degradable Paper

What’s better than bedding that not only pleases you and your gerbils but helps in saving the environment as well?

This Fresh News Paper does exactly that by making comfortable and effective beddings out of 100% biodegradable paper acquired from PaperGator.

To start off, the compacted paper pellet design along with baking soda helps in effectively fighting off the release of odor from all the urine absorption.

Moreover, the bedding is much more absorbent as compared to wood shavings due to its moisture locking design.

The bedding is dust-resistant and has no chemicals that could cause allergies or health problems, and is perfectly safe for your gerbils.

Lastly, this bedding is compostable and biodegradable and so won’t harm the environment in any way.

 Things I really like
  • Baking soda and pellet design helps in reducing the release of odor
  • Is more absorbent than wood shavings or clay
  • Dust-resistant and non-allergenic and so if safe for small animals
  • Made from recycled paper which can be composted or biodegraded later
 Things I don’t like
  • Isn’t very comfortable on its own so is better off as a base layer

12. Carefresh Custom Hamster/Gerbil Pet Bedding


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Carefresh
  • Size: 30-liters
  • Material: Natural Paper

Beddings that are directly focused towards gerbils might be difficult to find, but this Carefresh Custom Gerbil Bedding solves the problem.

Keeping in mind the burrowing behavior of gerbils, this natural paper bedding was made with all the basic qualities plus to provide stability to the tunnels these animals dig.

It’s 3 times as absorbent as regular wood shavings and retains moisture quite well, along with fighting odor for up to 10-days to help your cage smell fresh.

The bedding is almost completely dust-free and won’t trigger any sort of allergies. It’s also much easier to clean up and replace.

Most importantly, this bedding contains smaller pieces of paper so it’s easier for them to chew and build their burrows and move around them.

 Things I really like
  • Locks in three-times as much moisture as wood shavings
  • Controls the release of odor for up to 10-days
  • Does not cause allergies as it is dust-free
  • Smaller pieces of paper help gerbils in burrowing
 Things I don’t like
  • Slightly more expensive than other beddings

13. Sunseed 18222 Fresh World Bedding for Small Animals


 Key Facts
  • Brand: Sunseed
  • Size: 35-liters
  • Material: Phenol-free Recycled Paper

If you’re looking for bedding that doubles as a litter that also protects the environment, then this Fresh World bedding is for you.

What’s unique with this bedding is that it’s made out of phenol-free recycled newspapers that not only help in reducing pollution but are perfectly safe as well for small animals such as gerbils.

The bedding has an excellent absorbing ability and can absorb moisture up to 3 times its own weight.

Moreover, it uses a baking soda formula that helps it control odor release for 7-days, so you won’t have to change bedding regularly due to its smell.

You also won’t be having to worry about causing respiratory problems as the bedding is virtually dust-free.

 Things I really like
  • Helps save the earth as it’s made from recycled newspaper
  • Baking soda formula helps it absorb up to 3 times its own weight
  • Odor control for up to 7 days makes your cage smell fresh
  • Non-allergenic as it is dust-free
 Things I don’t like
  • More expensive than other beddings

Factors to consider for each bedding

Before you even go out to purchase bedding for your gerbil, it is essential to be familiar with the different factors regarding each bedding.

Because there are hundreds of brands and different materials of which bedding are made up of, knowing the properties of each one will benefit you a lot.

Not only will it save you money and time in testing and trying out each bedding, but also the effort in completely flushing out each bedding when you find out that your gerbil has problems with it.

There are many different materials of which bedding for gerbils is made up of, most of them being wood shavings. However, each material has different properties to it and having knowledge can save you from a lot of trouble.

Here are some factors you need to consider when purchasing bedding:


Cost is obviously a major factor in determining what bedding to use. More popular brands may be more expensive and some companies might advertise their beddings in a way to give off a premium look.

It’s not necessary to purchase these expensive brands as these are just marketing tactics and researching a bit may help you come across cheaper but better bedding.

Smaller packs also tend to be more expensive than larger ones if you compare the weight to price. So buying larger packs will not only save you the effort of buying them again and again but will also help you make some savings.

Note: Buying smaller packs isn’t necessarily a bad thing when you’re testing different beddings. The leftover may go to waste if your gerbil seems uncomfortable with one.

Tunneling Ability

In the wild, gerbils live in complex colonies of tunnels and as well as reproduce in them. Basically, tunnels are gerbils home.

The problem is, not all kinds of beddings, especially wood shavings, are capable of holding their shape and the tunnels will most probably fall.

To provide some strength to the tunnels, a mixture of more than one type of bedding is required. Relatively moist bedding tends to provide this tunneling strength.

Beddings like Carefresh and shredded paper are excellent materials that provide strength to the tunnels your gerbils will be making. These beddings are moist and relatively safer than the others.


Bedding naturally begins to smell after some time as it absorbs urine and water time after time, however, there are solutions to this problem.

One option is to buy more absorbent bedding. This bedding will absorb much more liquid than other beddings and as a result, will last longer before the smell appears.

The other option is to buy scented bedding which will counter the odor the waste releases. Make sure that the bedding is scented using natural material such as lavender otherwise it may trigger an allergic reaction.

Quantity and Replacement

Not all beddings have the same density. For example, a kg of wood shavings would cover much more area in the cage than a kg of sawdust would.

Thus, it is necessary to plan your budget accordingly. Find the alternatives of different beddings so you can purchase one which is cheaper and covers the same space as the other.

Similarly, some beddings will tend to rot in lesser time and so would need frequent replacement. Thus, make sure that you know the amount of time certain bedding will last before it needs replacement.

How much bedding should you use?

Gerbils survive in the wild through building complex burrows that give them shelter against predators and act as their homes.

Not only do they live in these burrows, but also tend to breed and give birth in these same burrows. So it is crucial to provide them with a similar environment in captivity as well.

Now let’s get straight to the answer:

The right amount of bedding is somewhere between 3 to 4 inches deep or 1/3 of the tank.

This amount of bedding allows them to burrow deep enough that they feel protected and can breed as well.

As there are different types of beddings, you can mix some up and layer them.

For example, using harder bedding like pellets for the bottom while using fiber or wood shavings for the top will provide your gerbils with both stability for their burrows as well as comfort.

Beddings you SHOULD use for your gerbils

Like everything else, there are certain kinds of beddings that we recommend you to use due to their properties that help your gerbils live a healthy life.

Good bedding is one that absorbs liquid well, reduces the spread of odor and does not causes allergies within your gerbils.

There definitely are other things that you must look out for like comfort, but these are just the basic requirements.

Here are some of our favorites:

Wood Shavings

Wood shavings are cheap, absorb liquids efficiently and serve as excellent bedding for gerbils.

There are different types of wood shavings available, however, we only recommend you to go for Aspen shavings as these tend to be the safest.

The reason is that Aspen doesn’t contain any oils or scents that might otherwise make your hamster sick in multiple ways.

Look for reputable brands selling Aspen wood shavings that are not treated with any chemical. These bedding should still have been processed to remove any dust that might cause an allergy.

Wood shavings do not typically hold their shape very well, so you’re better off with mixing them up with cardboard or clean paper. Gerbils chew both of these up and use them together to build stronger burrows.

Plain Shredded Paper or Paper Towels

Shredded paper is a great material to be used as a bedding for gerbils. However, it is necessary to make sure that you don’t simply shred your old documents and place them in their cage.

Unused paper can absorb water and help provide stability to the tunnels your gerbils make. There are several brands that make beddings out of raw, unused paper for small pets.

Another option is to use plain tissues or paper towels that are free from any chemicals or scents to avoid any allergies. Gerbils use these to line their burrows as well to give them strength.

Corn Cob

Corn Cob is an excellent choice for bedding due to their moisture absorbing quality.

These dried bits of corn cob are a perfect choice as a base layer for a gerbil cage as they can absorb large quantities of urine and reduce the spread of odor.

However, there is one issue:

Corn cob particles tend to be quite hard and aren’t the best material for building burrows.

To counter this problem, spread it over the base only and cover the upper layer with softer bedding or you can combine them with another softer bedding to provide comfort to your gerbils.


Gerbils are desert animals and thus do everything, from building burrows to cleaning themselves, in the same sand.

But there’s a catch to it:

Sand alone is not a very good choice of bedding for your gerbils due to a number of reasons.

First, without a certain level of moisture in it, a burrow made in the sand will most likely collapse. Other than that, not every type of sand is suitable for gerbils as very fine particles can be inhaled and can cause respiratory problems.

However, we do recommend you to place a small cup or bowl of chinchilla sand in the corner of your cage. Your gerbils will automatically use this sand to clean themselves.

Beddings you SHOULD NOT use for your gerbils

There are certain beddings that you should steer clear off in order to keep your gerbils healthy and safe.

Because gerbils are small and sensitive creatures, they tend to get affected by even a small amount of anything that doesn’t suit them.

Here are some examples:

Cedar and Pine Wood Shavings

Both of these woods produce a natural chemical called phenol that gives them a strong smell.

Gerbils tend to nibble on these wood shavings and as they break into smaller pieces, they can be breathed in which causes many allergies and respiratory problems.

Therefore, it’s best to avoid wood shavings of cedar and pine wood completely.

Newspaper or Printed Paper

Plain and clean paper is great for bedding, but the ink can cause many problems.

Your gerbils will very likely chew and break this paper into smaller pieces, so if they digest any of the ink in the process, it can cause harm to their health.

Fibers or Cotton Beddings

Although there are some beddings like Carefresh which are made of synthetic fiber, not any kind of fiber bedding should be used.

This is because your gerbils are very likely to chew these fibers into smaller pieces and digesting any of it can harm them.

Raw Wood Shavings or Sawdust

It is important to understand that not all types of wood shavings are suitable for use as beddings.

If you find someone offering wood shavings right out of the factory, at a cheap price in bulk quantities, you’re better off staying away from such deals.

This is because these wood shavings can have sharp edges as well as splinters which can cause a ton of problems for your gerbils, not to mention the discomfort they will suffer.

Also, this wood might have a lot of dust, which is yet another hazard to your gerbils’ health. Sawdust can also be found for cheap prices in bulk, but then again, can be inhaled and will cause allergies and respiratory issues.


Peat might seem like a good idea considering it’s more natural, but it has more drawbacks than advantages.

One reason is that peat is a heavy material and making burrows with peat might be a difficult task for your gerbils. And if their burrows collapse, they will have difficulty digging their way out.

More so, as the peat absorbs more and more moisture, it will become cold and might make your gerbils sick. Wet peat will also start to rot so you’re going to have to replace it quite frequently.

Choosing a cage for your gerbils

Deciding which cage to buy for your gerbil shouldn’t be made into such a difficult choice.

With that in mind, here’s a small guide which you can read to make this decision easier for you.

There are actually two basic things you can use to set up your gerbils home; an Aquarium or a Gerbilarium.


There’s a reason why aquariums are popular as a cage for gerbils.

For starters, it’s cheap and easy to find. You can visit your local pet shop and find a variety of glass aquariums in different sizes to suit your needs.

Secondly, aquariums are deep and different layers of beddings can easily be laid while still keeping space for your gerbils to roam around.

Aquariums also look really nice once you decorate them and can be a great addition to your room or hall.

However, you have to be careful and use a mesh roof to avoid suffocating your gerbils. You’ll also have to ensure that the roof is solid enough to protect them in case a cat or dog tries to attack.


A gerbilarium is a cage with two separate levels, one for sleeping and burrowing and the other for playing.

The upper level usually has a couple of exercise wheels, and you can add some toys.

The lower level, which is made of plastic or glass is used to lay the bedding and allow the gerbils to make their burrows.

Gerbilarium can be a little more expensive than aquariums.

Some have a wired second level in which gerbils might get their feet stuck, so keep an eye out for anything that might harm them.

Related Questions

How to know if my gerbil is having an allergy? The most common sign of an allergy or a respiratory problem is a runny nose.

Some chemicals in the bedding can irritate your gerbil’s nose and a runny nose is usually the most visible sign of a problem with the bedding.

Your gerbil’s nose will usually become red. Gerbil mucus is slightly reddish so don’t mistake it for blood. Change the bedding right away and take them to a vet so they can be treated.

How often should you clean your cage? Gerbil cage should be cleaned at least once a week, however, the bedding can last 3-4 weeks before needing a replacement.

Gerbils tend to be very clean animals and their urine doesn’t release too much odor. So, you don’t have to worry about smell too much.

They also excrete only a small amount of waste so you can also clean a particular spot or replace the bedding there in order to maintain hygiene.

One thing you want to keep in mind is to clean the cage less frequently when a gerbil has just given birth. This can disturb your gerbils or even cause their burrows to collapse.

What do gerbils play with? Gerbils love to chew on things. You can provide them with small pieces of wood or cardboard pieces to gnaw on and they will be very happy with it.

You can also place an exercise wheel in their cage to give them something to play with and get physical activity at the same time.

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