How much Bedding does a Hamster need?

You may be wondering how much bedding a hamster should have. The answer to this is critical because not all hamsters are alike.

Hamsters need different kinds of bedding and substrate for their cages.

So, before we talk about how much bedding you should give your pet, let’s talk about what kind of bedding they will need.

There are many different kinds of substrates, such as wood shavings, shredded newspaper or cardboard, and recycled products made from corn cobs.

Do Hamsters Need Bedding?

Your hamster must have a place to sleep. This stuff is important for the health and happiness of your hamster.

This material gives your pet comfort in many ways and helps them follow their natural urges to dig, make tunnels, and burrow.

A hamster can cool down by digging a hole. It is important to have bedding for your pet so that he or she can keep their body temperature stable.

For your hamster to be healthy, he or she needs the right amount of bedding.

Start with the base to give your hamster a safe, comfortable, and secure home.

How much bedding should a hamster have?

If your hamster’s bedding is made of fresh hay or sawdust, it’s tough to estimate how much bedding your pet requires.

For a standard Syrian hamster cage, I would propose a secondary layer of about four or five inches of fresh, removed straw as the bottom layer.

In addition, a thick layer of nesting material should be placed in one corner of the tank for digging and nesting purposes.

Sliced vegetables are a popular alternative for pet bedding and make excellent hideaways.

Your new Syrian or Dwarf hamster will probably prefer soft nesting materials like shredded paper towels, cedar shavings, or aspen bedding if you’ve just brought it home.

Golden Hamsters can be kept happy by overfeeding them with bedding materials such as wood shavings, pine bedding, or scented bedding products.

If your pet enjoys digging in the soil and moving around in the air, this will be a dream come true for them!

Hamsters have been known to eat paper as a substrate in the past. Check on them frequently as they become older so that they don’t do any damage to the floor.

There isn’t exactly a guideline for how much bedding should be provided per inch squared, therefore many individuals are unclear.

Some people believe that newspaper is the greatest bedding because it is inexpensive and readily available in most grocery stores, while others argue that hamsters can choke on these sorts of substrates if they consume any pieces.

How many inches of bedding does a hamster need?

2 to 3 inches is what most pet owners recommend.

To avoid getting its fur soiled or damp, a hamster’s bedding should be deep enough for it to burrow under.

For their hamster’s bedding, most individuals choose wood shavings, paper bedding, pine shavings, cedar shavings, or aspen slivers.

Because they don’t need to be changed daily, paper towels are also a popular choice.

There should be at least an inch-thick layer of bedding in your hamster’s environment, and it should be cleaned every week or more frequently if necessary.

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Shredded paper can be used as a natural, chemical-free bedding option for some people.

The best hamster food relies on the owner’s personal taste and the amount of money available.

Aside from that, you should think about how much your pet will burrow in its bedding and whether or not it will be kept in an aquarium setting where it will be quickly soiled or soaked.

Can you put too much bedding in the hamster cage?

It’s a common misconception that hamster cages only require a minimal amount of bedding, but this couldn’t be further from the reality.

A tunnel big enough for a hamster’s fluffy body and strong teeth is all that’s needed.

Don’t worry about running out of or having too much bedding because it’s unlikely that any pet store will sell your preferred sort.

How much bedding should a Syrian have? 

A minimum of six inches of bedding on the floor is required for a Syrian hamster to live comfortably.

A decent rule of thumb is to change it every few days, as it will lose its softness and comfort with time.

To avoid this, attempt to use new bedding or just replace filthy bedding in tiny amounts.

Scoop up as much waste as possible and then spread some hay over the area where it was before putting new bedding that is cleaner (eventually changing out the hay).

Your hamster will be able to explore its natural burrowing environment in this way.

It’s recommended to utilize a nesting bedding material like aspen shavings if you can spend more than 2-3 minutes a day with your pet.

For this reason, hamsters benefit from using litter boxes since they absorb urine and provide an atmosphere that deters fleas and mites.

Can hamsters suffocate in bedding?

It is quite unlikely that hamsters will die from bedding suffocation because they have a natural inclination to dig into items like hay.

How often should you change the bedding for a hamster?

Even while hamsters don’t technically “wind up,” their bedding can get filthy, and a new one will better absorb odors than an old one.

Once a week, cleaning the cage and changing the bedding are advised. Hamster bedding needs to be changed more frequently the more it is used.

To keep your pet safe and happy, you must always replace old bedding in their enclosure with new, fresh stuff whenever you clean it out.

As a result, you’ll need to change out your food plates frequently to prevent them from becoming stale and moldy over time.

An animal’s skin can become infected if its environment is unclean, which can lead to death.

You should therefore clean their home as thoroughly as you would if they were a pet in your care.

  • It is necessary to clean the bedding if it is wet or smells.
  • Soiled bedding can be identified using the 30-second test, which determines if a hamster can sit on it without getting dirty;
  • You can tell when it’s time to replace your bedding by inspecting it thoroughly. You should replace the bedding if you see any symptoms of an allergic response.

What happens if you don’t change the hamster bedding?

You’ll have to clean out the cage every so often. Hamsters will live in a less-than-ideal environment, one that they can’t change.

This makes them scared and sick, so your hamster may get sick or die.

If you can, you should change your hamster’s bedding every single day. The problem is that not everyone knows how to change the litter box for an animal without making it upset. They might be too loud or take their home away.

Most of the time, when an animal is upset, it acts out aggressively and poops all over the floor.

One way to avoid this is to use bedding that is good for the environment, like newspaper, corncobs, or shredded hardwood chips.

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These things are cheap, easy to clean, and easy to store in the cage.

Can hamsters use toilet paper for bedding?

Absolutely. In fact, they love it because the rough surface helps them stay on their feet when the ground is wet.

As long as you use something soft like toilet paper that won’t hurt their sensitive nose and paws, there aren’t many risks to hamsters sleeping on toilet paper.

Hamsters don’t make a lot of messes, so if you give him this treasure, his cage will really stay clean.

But if he does have an accident, all you have to do is pick up the mess and put it back where he lives.

There may be dry pet food that you can fold into squares. Don’t put wet tissues or paper towels in the cage because they will make a soggy mess and could hurt your pet.

The place where a hamster can live is easy to keep clean. You need to give them a place to sleep, water to drink, food to eat, and a place to stay out of the wind or direct heat.

Is shredded newspaper okay for hamster bedding?

The printing ink on the shredded newspaper has many chemicals. If your hamster eats a lot of these chemicals, it could get sick. You shouldn’t use any kind of newspaper as bedding.

Hamsters can move bedding or substrate around their cages by putting it in their cheeks and moving it with their mouths.

Even this small amount of contact with newspaper ink can be dangerous.

Some people have said that the ink used on paper today is not poisonous.

It is best to avoid the risk altogether and not use any newspaper as bedding.

Is tissue bedding safe for hamsters?

Hamsters can use tissue bedding. Many people worry that the toxins in tissue bedding will make hamsters sick. Hamsters aren’t hurt by tissue paper.

The first problem is that some sheets include ink that can rub off and discolor them. This can cause a dull coat, blotchy appearance, and dehydration, so be mindful of your pet’s hygiene.

Paper mills employ irritants like chlorine bleach (among other things). You don’t want this near your pet’s sensitive lungs or respiratory tracts.

Tissue sheets aren’t absorbent like paper towels. Wetness might irritate or infect your pet’s skin. Because it absorbs pee, it shouldn’t be used for cage lining. It’s not padded.

Animals may have trouble moving on paper towels. Some animals, like ferrets and chinchillas, can’t move with a paper towel on the ground.

How to layer hamster bedding

Different things can be used to make safe hamster bedding. Aspen, cedar shavings, paper towel, and newspaper are the most common things that hamsters sleep on.

Use a combination of these things in layers to make it cozy for your pet.

The cage needs to have enough bedding. This depends on the type of cage and the material it is made of.

Depending on the animal, you may need more or fewer shavings. You will need about two inches of cedar, but only one inch of pine.

You can also look at the packaging of some brands to see how much animal product was used to make them.

When deciding how much hamster bedding to buy, you should think about two things: what kind of bedding do you want and how big of a cage should you buy?

To figure this out, measure your hamster’s home and decide how dense or thick the bedding should be!

Hamster bedding to avoid

Now let’s talk about some types of bedding that you should never give to your hamsters.

Pine and Cedar wood shavings

These substrates are probably the best known, and you can find them in most pet stores.

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Scientists have shown that pine and cedar wood shavings are dangerous for almost all small animals.

This is because the woods contain harmful phenols and acids. You can smell the phenols in the wood shavings.

People also use these woods to keep bugs away and some disinfectants.

If you give your hamster Pine and Cedar wood shavings to sleep on, it is breathing in these phenols all day long.

The phenols get into their blood and respiratory systems, which can be very bad for them.

Again, if they breathe them in all day long, it can hurt their respiratory system and even kill cells in the lungs and trachea.

So you should avoid these shavings and any other shavings that don’t say what kind of wood was used to make them.


People, including myself, sometimes called wood shavings “sawdust,” but they are not the same thing.

You can tell that “sawdust” is much finer and dustier.

Because of this, you shouldn’t really use it as your hamster’s bedding, because they will be breathing in what is basically wood dust all day, which will hurt their lungs a lot.

Corn Cobs

Corn Cob substrate is an alternative plant-based substrate that many people use instead of Pine or Cedar substrate because they think it is safer.

But that’s not what happens.

Corn cob is known to go bad quickly, especially when it gets wet, like when your hamster urinates on it.

When things get moldy, they make more bacteria that can hurt your hamster.

Corn cob has also been known to make hamsters fat because it tastes good and they are surrounded by it all day, so they are even more likely to eat it.

Some people also think that corn cobs are more likely to have insect and parasite eggs, which are also bad for your hamster.

So, even though Corn Cob is safer for your hamsters than Pine or Cedar wood shavings, you should still avoid it because it can still hurt their health.

Is my hamster allergic to his bedding?

The best thing to do is to look for signs like sneezing or a lot of washing with water. If your pet hamster has these signs, it is likely that he is allergic to his bedding.

Some other signs are red eyes, irritated skin, and a coat that is very itchy.

If your hamster shows any of these signs, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis.

Is It Okay For A Hamster To Eat Their Bedding?

Your hamster will probably chew on and eat some of the bedding. Most of the time, your hamster will use its mouth to move things around.

As long as the bedding is safe for hamsters, a small amount of eating the bedding is safe.

Hamsters will eat more of their bedding if they don’t have enough to do in their cage.

If you think your hamster is eating too much of its bedding, you can give them more treats or toys to chew on.


The first step in providing a happy and comfortable life for your hamster is going to be selecting the appropriate bedding for its home.

If you want your pet to be as comfortable as possible and have the ability to borrow as much as possible, you need to make sure that you use the proper amount of bedding.

We sincerely hope that you found this post to be informative!