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Best Snake Bedding: Ideal Substrate Selection

This article discusses some best snake bedding options for pet owners.

Snakes are popular pets due to their easy care requirements. However, selecting the right bedding can be challenging, especially regarding the appropriate type for different snake ages and knowing when to change it.

The article provides guidance on creating comfortable bedding environments by considering various substrates. It emphasizes the importance of a secure enclosure and highlights the benefits of choosing suitable bedding for the well-being of the snakes.

Following this article’s advice, snake owners can ensure their pets have comfortable and appropriate bedding chosen.

Why Do People Need Bedding For Their Snakes?

For humans, great bedding is associated with many health benefits, starting with having a good night’s sleep or rest. When a person sleeps in a highly comfortable environment, this lowers the risk for any health complications, as well as stress. 

People are generally mentally refreshed. Good quality sleep helps ease muscle tension, repair tissue damage, and strengthen the immune system.

The same goes for snakes. The most appropriate and suitable bedding allows them to rest well, reducing tension and stress. Aside from the health benefits reaped from this, it also helps improve their mood.

Buyer’s Guide: What To Look For In A Good Snake Bedding? 

Owners only want their pets to feel comfortable and feel at home. Reptiles generally require a specific type of bedding for physical ease and relaxation. They all have varying needs, as not all have the same natural tendencies, origins, and environment. 

It depends on the reptile’s behavior and whether it likes to dig, bask, or stay in a wet surroundings. Their natural habitats must be closely replicated, which can often be difficult. Doing so promotes good physical and mental well-being in pets. 

Luckily, snakes are not choosy when it comes to their bedding, so long as it allows a good rest and a pleasant feeling. Owners can put newspapers, paper towels, sand, carpet, and more. However, there is still the best option among these, depending on your circumstances. 

Individual Differences

Constructing the setup of the enclosure can be a rousing activity. However, it can also cause someone to be at a stand, especially for new snake owners. Among the many things to consider, the bedding or substrate, in particular, also depends on the specific needs of the kind of snake being kept.  

Different species of snakes need specific bedding for comfort and replication of natural habitat. You should consider bedding that suffices for a hot environment if the snake thrives in cold weather, and vice versa. 

Maintenance and Absorbency

You must keep the bedding clean and tidy up or replace it when it becomes filthy to avoid bacteria and infestation. The frequency of doing this depends on the species you keep. However, snakes generally use the bathroom once or twice a week. 

Sheet-like beddings, those that are usually disposable, such as paper towels or liners, have to be replaced when they become dirty. Ones like wood, bark, and chips can be cleaned. Beddings that are based on minerals and sand can be strained and screened using a sieve.

You must ensure that the bedding you are purchasing is safe and clean to avoid bacteria and infestation in your snake.


The cost is usually the most considered factor regarding the setup. This dictates the frequency of substrate change or adjustment. The value affects how the owner purchases a product which also depends on the snake’s needs.

Beddings such as newspapers and paper towels often come free and thus, they are easily attainable. There are more expensive ones like fiber and chips. Choose what works best for you and your pet.

cypress mulch is one of Best Snake Bedding
Captive snake on cypress mulch bedding

10 Best Snake Bedding Reviews

There are a total of ten products to be reviewed in this article. These products are included as these will be beneficial and safe when picked as bedding and will help in creating a home for your pet snake.

ProductsAbsorbent CapacityNatural FeatureHumidity Retention
Zilla Aspen Chip Reptile BeddingUltra-absorbent100% NaturalImproved capacity for humidity
Zoo Med Forest Floor Reptile Bedding Absorbs wetness100% NaturalMaintained humidity
ReptiChip Premium Coconut Reptile BeddingAbsorbs odor100% NaturalSuperb humidity retention
Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber BeddingAbsorbs odor and waste productsOrganicHigh humidity retention
Top 4 Picks for Best Snake Bedding Brands

Zoo Med Forest Floor Reptile Bedding 

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This bedding is a substrate of cypress mulch that looks natural. It gives the enclosure, tank, or terrarium a naturalistic “forest floor” appearance while holding moisture to keep the enclosure moist. Snakes, amphibians, and tropical tortoises will best enjoy and benefit from the product.

Key Features:

  • 100% natural cypress mulch
  • All-natural ” Green” Product
  • Recommended terrarium substrate for snakes

Customers adore the natural effect that this forest floor offers. Their pets can burrow when they want to, and the product helps maintain humidity with periodic sprinkling as required. They also deemed it safe. Moreover, they have never encountered a rot problem when using the product.

Customers also suggest that owners be careful in providing food for their pets to avoid compaction, especially if they place the food on the bedding. This way, compaction will be avoided. 

Here is a YouTube video demonstrating how to use forest floor cypress bedding with the specific product.

What I like?

  • Natural “forest floor” look
  • Generally safe
  • Helps maintain moisture
  • Ideal for snakes

What I don’t like

  • Can be accidentally ingested
  • May need occasional misting to keep the moisture

Zilla Aspen Chip Reptile Bedding 

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Zilla Aspen Chip Reptile Bedding is made with heat-treated laboratory-grade aspen hardwood chips, which offer ultra-absorbent bedding and litter. You will notice a difference if you use it compared to your old litter.

Key Features:

  • Laboratory-grade, the choice of herpetologists
  • Heat-treated, ultra-absorbent
  • Hypo-allergenic
  • Ideal size makes spot cleaning easy
  • Ideal for snakes

Renowned enthusiasts and snake owners have long suggested Lizard Litter bedding for its improved capacity to absorb the wetness that happens naturally in snake enclosures.

Made with quality white fir shavings and powdered eucalyptus for a fresh smell that’s fully natural and non-toxic to your pet. No hazardous resins or oils are added; only pure, biodegradable substrate is used. 

Customers usually report that their snakes love this material. It can also suit the needs of scaly reptiles such as snakes more. This is because the particles are cube-shaped, with sharp corners that could irritate their hair and skin.

What I like

  • Ultra-absorbent bedding
  • Contains no toxic resins or oils
  • 100% natural—environmentally friendly

What I don’t like

  • Molds and mildew can irritate when touching giant snakes’ scales on their belly.

Zoo Med Premium Repti Bark Reptile Bedding

The Zoo Med Premium Repti Bark Reptile Bedding contains all-natural ingredients. The main component of this product is fir tree bark.

Heat is conducted and distributed evenly. For humidity-loving reptiles, this is the ideal substrate.

Key Features:

  • 100% pure fir bark, reusable in hot water every 2-3 months
  • Smaller pieces prevent crickets from hiding in the substrate.
  • Moisture is released slowly into the environment  by the bark; ideal substrate for snakes
  • Promotes bark better moisture retention.
  • Replicates your pet’s natural tropical habitat
  • Aids in shedding functions
  • Conducive to burrowing and digging

This product collects moisture before releasing it, resulting in dampness that increases ambient stimulation. It also allows natural burrowing and digging. It is absorbent and removes waste from your pet. This can also give the enclosure a natural tropical jungle appearance. 

It is reusable and simple to keep clean. For fresh, clean bark, soak it in hot water every 2 to 3 months. At least once a year, it needs to be changed. Moisture retention is improved with smaller chips (increased surface area). 

Customers suggest that you determine how much substrate you may need. For a 10-gallon tank, a 24-quart bag allows for around 5 inches of substrate depth. Alternatively, you might cut the depth in half and use it twice as often.

What I like

  • Reusable, washable
  • Gradual release of moisture into the environment
  • Not treated by heat
  • Replicates natural habitat
  • Conducive to burrowing and digging

What I don’t like

  • Loose substrate

Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Zoo Med Aspen Snake Bedding is recommended by professional horticulturists worldwide. This provides a secure, realistic ground for snakes, lizards, and tiny animals to dig tunnels and build nests, much like they would in the wild. 

Key Features:

  • Number 1 preferred snake bedding by horticulturists worldwide
  • Allows snakes to form burrows and nests naturally as they would in the wild because of its safe substrate
  • Safe, odorless and has a 191% absorbency rating
  • Non-toxic

Customers highly recommend this Zoo Med aspen snake bedding for anyone who has a burrowing snake set up in a terrarium. They claim it helps confine waste and is absorbent. 

Moreover, you do not need to replace the entire cage when changing the bedding if you remove the waste fast. For digging snakes, it holds tunnels quite well. This brand and shred of the Aspen are great to be used together.

What I like

  • Highly recommended by horticulturists
  • Safe and naturalistic substrate
  • No toxic oils
  • Odorless
  • Highly absorbent

What I don’t like

  • May still be accidentally ingested by snakes
  • Doesn’t work well in a higher-humidity enclosure
  • Prone to mold
  • Not for ball pythons

ReptiChip Premium Coconut Reptile Bedding

Last update on 2022-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The ReptiChip Premium Coconut Reptile Bedding allows you to turn your terrarium or vivarium into a hot, humid environment where your snake may thrive. Its natural composition and exceptional humidity retention make it ideal.

Key Features:

  • Has excellent humidity retention that creates a healthy habitat for your snake
  • Has a 72-quart compressed brick that provides safe and comfortable bedding for breeders
  • Absorbs odor; ensures the bedding and even your home smell pleasantly
  • Uses 100% organic coco chips
  • Uses a multifunctional versatile bioactive substrate for your snake’s tank accessories.

Customers claim this product looks attractive in the enclosure and holds humidity great. It assists with humidity as it readily holds 60 to 70 percent. 

What usually is done is they make sure the bottom levels are moist by pouring water over it, which it immediately absorbs, keeping the lowest levels moist. The top levels will dry out, while the lower levels will remain damp and gradually release humidity.

Here is a YouTube video showing how to prepare your ReptiChip in 5 minutes.

What I like

  • Coco substrate offers superb humidity retention
  • 100% natural bedding for your snake’s well-being
  • Maintain a tropical climate for snakes
  • Odor absorption ensures a pleasant environment12” x 12” x 6” breeder block makes 72 quarts
  • For ball python snake tanks
  • Meticulously cleaned of all dirt, dust, and fiber
  • Tailor moisture level to the species you keep

What I don’t like

  • Not 100% dust-free
  • May need constant misting
  • Contains small sharp pieces
  • Easy to expand and break apart

Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding

The Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Substrate is an environmentally friendly product manufactured from coconut husks that can be composted or repurposed for use in potted plants or gardens. It comes in a reusable bag.

Key Features:

  • Optimal substrate for terrarium set-ups
  • Can be used dry or damp with tropical species
  • Has a superior humidity retention capability
  • Absorbs odor and breaks down waste products

Customers are glad to have found organic, no-dust bedding for their pet snakes that maintains humidity without molding. Plus, it is a great value for this size when compared to smaller bags of competing products, so that is a no-brainer. 

They also suggest that if you are new to reptiles, bear in mind that the temperature of the heat pad on the glass will be greater than the temperature of the basking location once the bedding is added. Because this bedding is so good at retaining heat, it has been observed that there is a greater improvement when using the product.

In this YouTube video, you will see how the product works and helps to get results like never before. 

Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding Like and Dislike


  • Can be used damp/dry
  • High humidity retention
  • Breaks down odor and waste products

Don’t like

  • It can be accidentally ingested
  • Extra thick; can be dangerous if ingested.

Fluker Labs 36005 Repta-Bark All Natural Bedding

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This bedding provides the most robust and natural substrate, especially in highly humid tanks. All high-humidity-loving snakes will benefit from this orchid bark as natural bedding. 

Key Features:

  • Prevents excessive moisture and absorbs waste
  • Suitable for snakes that love high-humidity
  • All Natural 
  • Origin: United States

Larger chunks imply less dust and less likelihood of ingestion. The substrate is made of natural materials. It is designed to absorb extra moisture in your snake’s tank. The visually pleasing forest floor substrate absorbs waste.

Customers claim that it absorbs humidity and minimally helps with the smell. They say it is enjoyable to use. The pieces were a nice size and reasonably priced for their snakes’ requirements. The bark looks great and does not bleed colors.

What I like

  • Suitable for humidity-loving reptiles
  • Prevents excessive moisture
  • Absorbs waste
  • Chunks are in good sizes

What I don’t like

  • Molds in high humidity
  • Cannot be boil-sanitized, baked only
  • May kill cleaner bugs
  • Dusty

Exo Terra Coco Husk Brick Bedding

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Exo Terra Coco Husk Brick Bedding is manufactured from compressed coconut husk sourced from tropical Asian crops. This ecological substrate is perfect for enhancing terrarium humidity. 

Key Features:

  • 100 % natural substrate for tropical set-ups
  • Promotes increased humidity
  • Promotes digging and burrowing behavior
  • Ideal for snakes

It is a 7qt – 7L 100% natural substrate that is ideal for natural terrarium setups.

Customers love this product for its effectiveness in controlling the humidity and temperature in the enclosures of their pets. It is able to expand a lot and go a long way. 

The beauty of using this coconut bark is that it can contain a lot of moisture while remaining dry on top. It is an excellent supply of bedding for tropical snakes.

If you want to learn more about how this bedding works, check out this YouTube video. It features a detailed review of the product.

Critters Comfort Coconut Reptile Bedding

Last update on 2022-12-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The comfortable bedding is ideal for your pet in humid environments and tropical terrariums. It is 100% organic coconut coir, non-toxic, dust-free, and chemical- and fragrance-free. It has no sharp edges, and the soft material provides comfort.

Key Features:

  • Odor-absorbing
  • Non-toxic and dust-free; 100% organic coconut coir 
  • Provides a safe environment for your pet

Customers love using this bedding for their pets as it efficiently controls the humidity in the enclosure. It smells and appears pleasant and safe for pets. 

Some customers say that this is the best bedding they have used. It looks fluffy, the packaging is recyclable, and the substrate is eco-friendly. It also has ​​a finely ground texture. 

Please check this video if you would like to see the product sample. 

Carib Sea SCS00211 Coco Soft Reptiles Bedding

Last update on 2022-12-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The establishment of beneficial, waste-reducing organisms in Carib Sea coarse chip bedding keeps an enclosure fresher between changes. Fresh coconut husks are used in this bedding, which helps to reduce odor better than other types of bedding.

Key Features:

  • Provides growth of waste-reducing organisms that keep the set-up fresher
  • Its coconut husks absorbs odor
  • Ideal for snakes
  • Non-toxic
  • Provides comfort with its weather-soft material

Customers liked how this product works as bedding, same as their pets. They reported that their pets can dig in it easily and stack it. 

Please click on this link if you would like to see a detailed demonstration on how to use a forest floor cypress bedding.

Some Other Substrates You Can Use for Snake Bedding

Aside from the aforementioned brands and products, other materials can be used as snake bedding. Such materials include cypress mulch, aspen shavings, sand, coconut, artificial turf/glass, carpet, and newspaper/paper towels.

Cypress Mulch

Snakes like cypress mulch because of its soft surface and capacity to keep moisture. Its smell is pleasant but not overwhelming. It is cheap and readily available at garden shops. 

best snake beddings
cypress mulch and aspen shaving beddings for reptiles

Aspen Shavings

Aspen shavings are a suitable substrate for smaller snakes and those who do not require a lot of humidity. Too much moisture causes the shavings to mold, and particles might sneak under a big snake’s belly scales, causing discomfort.


Sand appeals more as substrate than newspaper or paper towels for snakes. It can be bought at pet stores and comes in different hues. 

However, sand may not be the best option for most snakes, especially those requiring high humidity levels. Snakes tend to accidentally consume a significant amount of sand, which can cause internal blockages. 

But aside from this condition, the sand is a perfect addition to the natural look and feel of the snake’s habitat, especially to the other desert-dwelling ones from the barren regions.

Snake on sand substrate
Snake on sand substrate


Coconut fiber is another comfy bedding option. However, it is best suited for little snakes because of its small size and softness.

Coconut chips can be substituted for bigger species. It is easy to clean. However, the fiber version tends to become dusty and may trigger allergies.

Artificial turf/grass

You may place a clean piece of your artificial turf in your snake’s cage while cleaning the contaminated one. This material is quite simple to clean. It is also long-lasting and sturdy, albeit its look degrades with each washing.


Non-burrowing snakes can use carpeting as a substrate. It will save you money if you use leftovers. However, you must use two pieces to fit in the cage. One piece is left in the cage while the other is cleaned or washed. Carpets become stained rapidly, necessitating frequent cleaning.

Newspaper or Paper Towels

Because newspaper and paper towels are easily available, they are commonly used as snake bedding. They are frequently given away for free and are simple to replace if your pet has soiled them. 

What is a snake bedding substrate?

A substrate or bedding is the comfortable bed owners must provide for their pets for a pleasant habitat.

Which Substrate Makes For the Best Snake Bedding?

Aspen shavings are known for being a conducive habitat for various snake species.

What substrate should be avoided for snakes?

Substrates such as gravel, sand, corn cob material, wood shavings, cat litter, and walnut shells must be avoided. They are all hard to clean and can induce impaction in your pet’s intestines.

How often should You replace Your snake’s bedding?

The substrate must be replaced every 1-2 months or, if necessary, more frequently.


If you are in the market for new bedding, take some time to consider what your snake needs. You want something comfortable and easy to clean up after.

We recommend our best picks of all different types of bedding materials here which should help you find an option that will suit your budget and preferences.

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