Which Bedding Is Best For Pet Mice? Pros & Cons

Your little mice need perfect cozy bedding to stay comfortable all day long. The substrate for the bedding has to be quite comfortable to create an ideal home-like environment for the mice. 

Do you know that good bedding is necessary to let the mice use it as their bed, playground, and bathroom? Good bedding will also allow the mice to create tunnels and holes to make a nest and live blissfully. 

The market is flooded with various types of bedding material that make it quite confusing for us to choose the right option for the cute mice. Striving to match the quality of the bedding with our planned budget often seems to be an impossible task. 


However, there is no need to worry. We know that you will always want to have a bedding of superb quality to make your pet mice feel comfortable and give them a home-like feeling. 

Read on to find out what can be the ideal bedding for mice. We have got a lot of bedding options to unpack for you!

What Bedding Is Safe For Pet Mice?

To know what kind of bedding is safe for pet mice, we need to look at the types of bedding options available at our disposal. Let’s see what these are!

  • Aspen shavings 
  • Hemp 
  • Hay/Straw 
  • Husk of coconut 
  • Bedding of pellets 
  • Paper bedding/Shredded Paper 

We need to weigh both the advantages and disadvantages of these bedding options to conclude which one is the safest option for a mouse. Have a look at the three kinds of mouse bedding that pet mice need in their cages. 

3 Types Of Bedding That Pet Mice Need

Mice eating in their bedding


The substrate forms the base of the mouse cage. It borders the cage’s insides and retains the urine that protects the cage and the mice. Mice have this weird habit of pooping and peeing wherever they want! So, it becomes essential to protect their health by adding a proper substrate to the cage. 

Absorbent beddings clear the pee by absorbing the liquid so that it doesn’t come into close contact with a mouse. As a result, the urine smell is also somewhat suppressed. But, drainage beddings do not act in the same way. These make everything messy by allowing the urine to flow to the very bottom of the cage. So, absorbent beddings are preferable!

Mice love to dig tunnels and create nests for themselves. A deep-based cage and a thick substrate are ideal for giving the mice the liberty to dig and nest in the way they like. 

Mouse Litter 

The best idea to absorb the mouse’s feces and urine is by placing a completely unscented 100% paper cat litter at the corners of the cage (since these are the preferable areas for excreting).

If you have got pet rats at home, just place litter pellets in a flat tray to make them practice proper toileting habits. Sadly, this strategy doesn’t work for the pet mice as they won’t be excreting in a fixed place.

Therefore, it is suggested that you notice the areas where they poop or pee the most and then place the cat litter paper in those areas of the cage, below the substrate. 

Thus, the best choice is to use paper cat litter for the rodents. Often, the wood and mineral pellets disintegrate to form dust under wet conditions. And, the rodents may end up eating their litter, which is highly unsafe!

Bedding Options For Nesting 

Mice are fond of the building complex, almost 3D kinds of nests to sleep, eat and play around. Creating bedding with different types of options available is therefore necessary. For instance, you can use paper.

You can use shredded newspaper, paper towel, or toilet paper as the bedding for nesting. If you wish for something natural, hay or straw of superior quality as the bedding material is an excellent idea.

The mice will be fascinated by its smell and can also nibble some strands of hay, thus obtaining nutrition at the same time. 

Pros And Cons Of Substrate Bedding Options 

You will want to have the best substrate bedding material for your mouse. So, let’s look at the pros and cons of each option so that we can reach an apt conclusion. 

  1. Paper Bedding 

Paper bedding is the most popular option that is used in the mice cage. Several paper-based substrates have also been made softer than cat litter paper and are more absorbent than newspaper shreds. 

Both mice and owners vulnerable to allergic reactions to natural bedding items can use paper shredding effectively. The only demerit of this kind of bedding is that often several local brands sell scented paper bedding. Avoid using these scented papers as these might cause respiratory problems and cause irritation due to the dusty nature of these items. 

  1. Cardboard Bedding 

Cardboard bedding involves using square pieces of cardboard or wide strips of it. It was used primarily for the bedding of horses, but now it is widely used by pet owners having small animals like rodents at home. 

The advantage of cardboard squares or stripes is that the mice get immense freedom to dig and nest in the way they want. The demerit of it is that if you don’t purchase a thicker cardboard bedding of good quality, it might have a lower absorbing rate and will turn soggy and wet in no time. 

  1. Wood Shavings 

Whether wood shavings are a good or lousy bedding option depends upon the tree from which the wood has been derived and used. Wood shavings derived from pine and US cedar contain high phenol concentration and are very dusty.

This might be harmful and may affect the respiratory systems of the little mice. High phenol content affects the metabolic functions of rodents.

Aspen wood shavings are a popular bedding choice in the US and have less phenol content, so these can be used. But, aspen shavings of low quality might be dusty and will affect the mouse’s health. 

The good news is that wood shavings can now be used safely if the wood is heat-treated (heat reduces the phenol content to a great extent) and made less dusty by using dust extraction methods. So, you can use wood shavings if these are well-treated by heat and have undergone a dust removal process. 

Refrain from purchasing any kind of cheap bedding that contains sawdust, wood chips, and raw softwoods. 

  1. Hemp Bedding 

If you cannot find the best quality wood shavings on the market, hemp makes for a perfect alternative to it. Creating bedding by mixing hemp and cardboard makes for excellent, absorbent bedding. Use hemp, especially in the cage site where the mice prefer to discharge their wastes the most. 

The disadvantage of hemp is that some brands often sell these in scented forms. This affects the respiratory system of rodents to a great extent. Make sure to use completely natural, unscented hemp for your mouse. 

So, what’s the best bedding for mice?

A mouse

The best bedding for the mice will be subjective as it depends on the materials and the available brand in one’s area. To ensure you are making the best bedding choice, bear the following points in mind. 

  • Add a loose substrate in the cage as the mice need space to dig and create hiding nests and structures for themselves. Ensure that the substrate that you are purchasing covers the base of the cage in a super thick layer. 
  • The substrate has to be absorbent to soak the litter of the mice. 
  • Ensure if the bedding material is not dusty and does not contain any artificial scent. While using wood shavings, check the content of phenol. If it is low, only then consider using it. 

Let’s see some of the best mouse bedding products that are available on the market. 

Mice in their bedding

Carefresh Small Animal Bedding, White, 50-L

This product from Carefresh claims to function more effectively than wood shavings and absorb three times more litter than the shavings. It helps keep your mice clean and controls odor.

Reclaimed or recycled paper fiber has been used as the primary source in this product. It is also dust-free and helps keep your little rodent away from contracting any kind of breathing problems. 

The danger of impaction is a problem while using this if the pets ingest a part of the bedding. Check your mouse’s health periodically, and if you notice impaction, don’t delay seeking the help of a vet. 

Oxbow Pure Comfort Small Animal Bedding, White, 72-L

This is one of the best mouse bedding materials from Oxbow, made of 100% pure, new paper, and is highly soft. Being way too weak, it can absorb almost up to 800 percent of its total weight in moisture. Establish a smell-free, clean living area for the cute mice with this bedding material from Oxbow. 

You can use it easily by placing 1 to 3 inches of the bedding on the cage floor. Keep a regular check over the bedding to see if any area has got soiled. Keep replacing the bedding weekly.

You should create a proper sanitary space to rule out the chances of any kind of respiratory problems of the pet arising due to the high concentration of ammonia from the mouse’s urine. 

Kaytee Clean & Cozy Small Animal Bedding, 85-L

This mouse bedding from Kaytee is made of paper approved by FDA and is also 20% more absorbent than other brands. Being 99 percent dust-free ensures the maintenance of the healthy condition of your mice.

It also works effectively to control foul odor. The mice can easily dig deep and build tunnels and nests for themselves in this bedding. 

Cover the cage’s base with 1 to 3 inches, and make sure to change the bedding every week. 

Vitakraft Fresh World Ultra Strength Small Animal Bedding, 35-L

Powered by a potent odor blocker formula, this bedding substance from Vitakraft retains the moisture quickly and locks foul smell for a continuous period of 14 days.

The highly tender crumbles absorb about three times their weight in liquid form. Besides, it is also dust-free. Recycled paper is used to make it. Therefore it is totally safe to use, and it does not harm kitties.

Living World Aspen Shavings Small Animal Bedding, 20-L

The wood shavings bedding from Living World are completely scent-free and are highly absorbent.

These shavings have negligible phenol content, are hypoallergenic, and are free from any kind of aromatic oils make them a perfect bedding choice for your mice, as they won’t lead to any breathing disorders. 

FiberCore Small Pet Eco-Bedding, Blue, 10-lb box

Made from 100 percent recycled paper that is further certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), this automatically becomes a suitable bedding choice for your pet.

It is dust-free, thus keeping respiratory problems such as asthma and other kinds of allergies at bay. The bedding lets the mice dig tunnels and build nests. 

Sweet Meadow Farm Comfy Cotton Small Pet Nesting Material, 1-oz bag

This bedding from Sweet Meadow Farm is made of 100 percent cotton. Imagine how comfortable and cozy your mice will get with this bedding in their cage!

It is free from any kind of chemicals, dust, and dyes- thus ensuring the proper health of the tiny creatures. You can go for this to let your mice have soft bedding and get a homely feeling. 


What Bedding Should You Not Use For Mice?

Bedding containing lots of dust, phenol, and aromatic oils is to be avoided at all costs and should not be used in the cage of the mice. 

Can Mice Have Straw As Bedding? 

You can use only good-quality straw as the bedding for your mice. 

Is Scented Bedding Safe For Mice? 

Scented bedding may cause respiratory disorders in your pet mice. So, try not to use it as cage bedding. 

About the author

I'm Gulshan, a passionate pet enthusiast. Dive into my world where I share tips, stories, and snapshots of my animal adventures. Here, pets are more than just animals; they're heartbeats that enrich our lives. Join our journey!thing.