Guinea pig bedding guide

Need help choosing guinea pig bedding? Here is how I do it for my two piggies...

black guinea pigI clean their cage often so I guess almost any bedding would work out fine for them but I still like to get them the best.

Here is the list of bedding you can use:

  • newspapers
  • wood shavings/reclaimed wood pulp waste
  • wood pellets
  • confetti
  • towels

Wood shavings | Wood pulp waste

Usually, I put only one layer of bedding and that is wood shavings. I tried almost everything you can find on the market and I like wood shavings the best. Same results you will get with reclaimed wood pulp waste.

Carefresh Pet Litter Bedding Press Pack

50 liter bag.

From description:

  • Does not contain pine or cedar oils
  • Natural, biodegradable fiber
  • Superior odor control
  • Not recycled paper - no ink, clay or chemical contaminants
  • Environmentally friendly - no trees were cut to make CareFRESH
  • Sanitized to 380 degrees
  • Also recommended for pets suffering from allergies

Sometimes I get them two different bags, one with larger shavings and one with smaller and I mix them. Then I put one layer on the bottom of the cage and it does the business, keeps them clean and not smelly.

I always put hay on the top but I would not call it a bedding layer because they eat all the hay.

Newspapers as guinea pig bedding

guinea pig bedding newspapersI have tried putting newspapers first, and then the wood shavings, but they pee a lot and it only gets messy. If you want to use only newspapers and you will change them ofter you can do that do.

Why it didn't work for me is that they needed to be changed more often so I would end up throwing a lot of wood shavings for no reason. Still, this is a cheap bedding (get your friends to give you all the old newspapers) so if you don't mind changing it often, just use them.

Some people cut newspapers into small stripes and make something similar looking to wood shavings. I could not do that because my two piggies love eating paper.

Wood pellets

There are more solutions to use as guinea pig bedding and one of them is wood pellets. You buy them in wooden stove shops. They are cheaper by the pound but much heavier than wood shavings. This is not my choice of bedding because in my opinion it does not dry liquids like shavings do.

What you can take in consideration when it comes to wood pellets is that they will be harder to clean because they are heavier, so if you have a really big cage, you better skip this one.


There are also confetti to be bought for bedding but I don't like this solution because it is kind of dusty so those small particles fly around and mess up your apartment. CareFresh Confetti is one of the better choices for confetti bedding.


Some people use towels and cloths but this was never my choice. As I said, guinea pigs pee a lot so they mess up the towels fast. You would have to change them often. Now, how do you clean them, are you going to wash them in you washing machine? Or will you buy towels until you are out of money? So this solution is definitely a no-no for me.

More tips

Don't use sawdust as bedding. Guinea pigs can inhale it and that can cause very serious problems.

If you decide to use wood shavings don't use cedar and pine shavings. Cedar shavings are toxic for guinea pigs. Pine is not toxic but it releases aromatic oils that can hurt your pet guinea pig. You could use pine shavings and cover them up with another kind but that would be doubling the efforts. Just use a different kind of shavings.

Some suggest kiln-dried pine shavings but I did not want to risk with this. If the shavings are air-dried they would hurt the guinea pigs and you can't really know what they do in the factory where they pack the shavings.

So, to summarize, I recommend wood shavings to be used as guinea pig bedding. You can always try others to see what works out the best for you.

If you need more help on this or any other matter you can ask a question on Free Pet Advice page, Guinea pig FAQ page or just Ask A Vet.

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