Reptile Bedding

Top 10 Types Of Reptile Bedding

Choosing the proper reptile bedding for your pet's enclosure is an important decision to make.  The bedding will influence your reptile's health and happiness and can save you quite a bit of time and effort with daily and weekly clean up sessions.  There are many bedding options that are available but you should make sure that you make an educated decision of which type is ideal for your reptile to ensure your pet's safety.

  1. Coconut Fiber – The fiber pieces off of a coconut that have a stringy consistency and are known as part of the husk, are a different, yet ideal choice for reptile bedding.  Coconut fiber is sold in expandable bricks and chunks and is considered the perfect pick for reptiles that require a high humidity environment.  The absorbency and odor control offered makes this substrate a recommended choice for burrowing types of pets.  Be sure to not buy coconut fiber from the gardening industry as it typically contains fertilizer which is harmful to your reptile.
  1. Wood – Cedar, pine, aspen, cypress and Douglas fir are the most popular types of wood used as reptile bedding and it is typically sold as chips, shavings and pellets.  Wood is not recommended for reptiles that have burrowing tendencies because it lacks odor control and absorbency and some reptiles are irritated by it.
  1. Reptile Carpet – Most carpets are machine washable, making them a convenient and popular pick.  Textures and colors vary and many stores will even cut carpet to precisely match various tank sizes.  Clearly, this is not a good choice for burrowing reptiles but for all others it is a safe way to keep their housing sanitary and there is not a risk of ingestion.
  1. Sand – This natural substrate is ideal for desert species as long as there is not a concern for ingestion.  The most popular types of sand used are digestible calcium sand, vitamin infused sand and play sand.  Sand will clump when it is wet and does nothing to eliminate odor but it is perfect for reptiles that need to burrow to be happy.


  1. Alfalfa Meal – Basically, this is rabbit food all ground up into hay that is then made into cylindrical small pellets.  This is becoming one of the most poplar types of reptile bedding because it is very absorbent, helps with odor and it is biodegradable.  Additionally, pellets do not pose a problem when ingested in very small amounts.
  1. Recycled Paper Bedding – Many owners of reptiles like using recycled paper bedding because it is absorbent and provides burrowing opportunities to reptiles that require them.
  1. Moss – There are quite a few different varieties of moss that are used for reptile bedding.  Moss is a natural substrate that is highly recommended for reptiles that require burrowing opportunities and high humidity levels.
  1. Vermiculite – An ideal alternative to moss, vermiculite is a mineral that goes through a heating process and then when you add water to it, many layers of worm-like pieces are created.  It is ideal for burrowing and high humidity reptiles.
  1. Walnut Shells – This substrate is created by finely grinding walnut shells.  Although it is scooped up quite easy like cat litter and does not hold water, it also offers no odor control and can cause impaction if ingested.
  1. Newspapers and Paper Towels – While you can just lay sheets down in the bottom of your reptile's enclosure, most owners will shred the newspaper and towels so it is fluffy and allows the reptile to burrow.  Although these are absorbent choices they do not help with odor.  It is an inexpensive and convenient choice however very unnatural for the reptile.