How Much Bedding Does a Hamster Need

How Much Bedding Does a Hamster Need

If you’re new to keeping hamsters you’ve probably asked yourself how much bedding does a hamster need? In most cases, it’s a good idea to provide your hamster with at least 4 to 6-inches of bedding

Scientific studies on hamster bedding have even found that a bedding depth of at least 15-inches  can help improve a hamster’s overall health and well being. In that study, hamsters kept in cages with at least 15-inches of bedding had a healthier body weight, and they also exhibited less stress-induced destructive behaviors.


How Much Bedding Does a Hamster Need:


  • In order to fill one square foot to a depth of 5-inches you’ll need 11.8-liters of bedding

  • To fill one square foot to a depth of 10-inches you’ll need 23.6-liters of bedding

  • To fill one square foot to a depth of 15-inches you’ll need 35.4-liters of bedding



Hamster Bedding Depth

Hamster Bedding Depth

In order to figure out how much bedding your hamster needs you’ll need to know the dimensions of their cage. The following section contains the steps you’ll need to follow to calculate the amount of bedding needed to fill your hamster’s cage.


  • First, measure the length and width of your cage and multiply those numbers together to figure out the total area of the base of the cage (Surface Area = Length x Width).

  • Now decide how deep you want the bedding layer to be and multiply that by the Surface Area of the litter pan to get the total volume of bedding you’ll need (Volume = Surface Area x Depth)

  • If you measured the volume in inches then you might want to convert it to Cubic Feet (Cubic Feet = Cubic Inches / 1728),

  • Some brands of bedding are sold by the Liter, and in that case, each 1 Liter = 61.02374 cu in.


Here is a simple example of how much bedding you’d need for an average size hamster cage. Let’s say you have a cage that has a width of 12-inches, and a length of 18-inches, and you want to fill it with 6-inches of bedding. That means you would need a total bedding volume of 1,296 cubic inches (12 x 18 x 6 = 1296).

Since there are 61.02374 cubic inches in a Liter than means you’ll need 21.24 Liters of bedding (1296 / 61.02374 = Liters of Bedding). Alternatively, if you buy your bedding by the cubic foot then you’ll need 0.75 cubic feet of bedding to fill the litter pan to a depth of 6-inches.



Best Hamster Bedding

Carefresh Custom Hamster/Gerbil Pet Bedding
Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding
Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding
Kaytee Aspen Bedding Bag



What Can I Use for Hamster Bedding?



Carefresh Custom Hamster/Gerbil Pet Bedding

Carefresh Custom Hamster Pet Bedding (Buy Online) is specially designed for animals that need to burrow in their cage. This extra light bedding is made from all natural paper, and it’s 99.9% dust free.

This bedding will help keep smells to a minimum since it incorporates a proprietary odor stop formula that limits ammonia smell for up to 10 days. It’s also very environmentally friendly since it’s 100% biodegradable. In addition, this bedding has a unique texture that helps keep the pieces of bedding from sticking to the bottom of the cage.

The best thing about this bedding is that the individual pieces of bedding are lighter and smaller than most other types of hamster bedding. The smaller pieces make it much easier for a hamster to make burrows, and the smaller pieces also help the tunnels hold their shape.



Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding

Kaytee Clean & Cozy White Small Animal Bedding (Buy Online) is a very affordable bedding option, and it comes in packages that are large enough to fill almost any size hamster cage. This bedding is made from long fiber recycled paper, and it has 2x the absorbency of pine shavings.

This safe hamster bedding is also 99.9% dust free, which helps reduce the risk of respiratory issues, and it can even help if you have allergies. In addition, this bedding is very soft, and it’s extremely lightweight, so your hamsters will easily be able to make burrows so the can feel cozy and safe.



Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding

Small Pet Select Unbleached White Paper Bedding (Buy Online) is an excellent all natural bedding that you can buy in bulk, and you can even have it delivered with free shipping. This bedding comes in a 56-Liter or a 178-Liter package.

The 178-liter package contains 16.5 pounds of bedding, which should be enough to last for up to eight cage cleanings. You can even get a 3-pack of the 178-liter bales which could last up to a year depending on how often you clean your cage.



Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding

Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding (Buy Online) is a natural bedding material that will keep your hamster nice an comfy inside their cage. This bedding is made from raw paper fibers that are formed into pillow-soft pieces that are twice as absorbent as shavings.

You can even get Carefresh Complete Pet Bedding in a few different colors if you want to add a little life to your hamster’s cage. It also comes in a 60-Liter package, and it’s one of the more affordable bedding options on this page.



How Often to Clean a Hamster Cage

How Often to Clean a Hamster Cage

Now that you know how much bedding you need you might be wondering how often to clean a hamster cage. In most cases, you should clean your hamster’s cage once a week. In addition, you might want to spot clean the cage throughout the week to reduce odors and to keep your hamster healthy and safe.


Weekly Cleaning

  • Take your hamster out of their cage and put them somewhere safe where they can’t escape.

  • Remove any food bowls and toys from the cage, and then wash them thoroughly to clean off any stuck on bits of debris.

  • Dump the old bedding into a garbage can, or if the bedding is biodegradable you can add it to a compost bin so it won’t go to waste.

  • Make sure the litter pan is free of stuck on debris, and scrub it until it is completely clean

  • Then add a new layer of bedding, and put their bowls, bottles, toys, and accessories back into the cage


Daily Cleaning

  • Inspect the cage and make sure there are no bad odors or excessive amounts of waste

  • Remove any spilled food or damaged toys from the cage immediately

  • Scoop out any wet or soiled bedding from the surface, and replace it with some fresh bedding.

Mark Young
Mark has worked with a wide range animals for over 10 years, and he regularly volunteers at his local animal shelter. Mark has decided to share his years of knowledge by writing helpful guides for both new and experienced pet owners