Selecting the best bedding for a ball python snake specie is not an easy job, especially when there are many substates or bedding available on the marketplace.
The internet even makes it harder as there are confused, mixed, and some not-so-helpful advice on using a substrate for your ball python bottom cage.
Looking for the best ball python substrate for humidity can be hard, but to make your search a lot easier, In this article, we will show you some of the best snake bedding for your python.
Once again, the goal of this article is to discuss my own experiences with a range of different substrates, discussing the positives and the negatives of each. Hopefully, in the end, you feel better informed, confident and can choose the preferred bedding for your python.
Let’s see what kinds of beddings are available.
Top 12 Best Bedding for Ball Python
As earlier mentioned, this guide will help you select the best bedding options for your pet snake. We will provide you reviews and the product’s advantages and cons to help you choose the best bedding for your snake.
When used as bedding, it also has lots of other benefits. For example, it can help absorb liquids and moisture inside the tank, making it easier to clean it.
Aside from looking good, they smell great inside the tank.
The only con of using this form of the substrate is that although it absorbs liquids and moisture quickly, it doesn’t expel them (meaning it doesn’t let them go as fast as it retains them).
This can cause your pet tank to be more humid than before, so make sure that it’s dry before putting it in the tank.
Reptile Prime Coconut Fiber Bedding
Many ball python pet parent really admit loving this product because it has no smell, can be easily cleaned, and absorbs liquid excellently.
Humans and animals (like ball pythons) love it alike. Owners said that since they began using reptile prime, their pets have been tunnelling through non-stop.
Additionally, it is not heavy, won’t mold, not messy, and can absorb odors inside the enclosure. You can also use coconut fiber substrate for ball pythons to grow plants with.
We can say that this is one of the best ball python substrate for humidity you can get your hands on.
The product has become more well known when Brian Barczyk, a well-known reptile breeder, teamed up with the products’ company.
I really do not see any con to this product, it is no doubt one of the best bedding for ball python snake breed on the market and internet.
Because this market is popular, they are really easy to find, and shop online and physical pet stores. Because of its light colors, the beddings look great in the snake’s tank.
Aspen bedding for ball pythons also look fluffy, making them good moist absorbent, absorbing water spilled, urine, and feces to dry out quickly. Thereby, keeping the tank clean and fresh.
Similarly, the snake’s seems to enjoy digging through the shavings, especially the young ones. This can help enrich the snake’s environment/surrounding.
And honestly, I can’t really find a downside to this product. Though there are a few buyers that complain that the product is quickly becomes dusty. I personally think that they have accidentally a low-quality and thought that all products are the same.
Moss bedding can and will increase the humidity of the tank helping your pet to have an easier time to shed out of its old skin. Most pet owners’ uses moss to create hides with moist.
The downside of this kind is that it can acquire bugs or mites in it because of the dirt and moist. But that can be avoided if the beddings are changed once or twice a week.
When freshly opened, you will discover that the fresh cypress mulch bag contains fresh ones that are a bit moist. But if you don’t want an increase in the tanks humidity level then you can dry it out before putting it inside the enclosure.
If you are worried about mold growth because of its heavy moisture level, then don’t mind it because cypress mulch is very resistant to mold growth.
Note: before buying this kind of substrate, make sure that it only contains cypress mulch blend ONLY, some may include pine shavings that can also be toxic to snakes.
The downsides are that some chip size is big and sharp which can hurt your pet’s skin and it cannot be easily dug through by snakes. But all in all, it is still a good bedding choice for your snake.
Since it is an alternative to the past substrate, it can also help increase the humidity level of the snake’s enclosure. But if you don’t want that then you can dry out the bark first under the sun before putting it in the tank.
The bad side of this is that it can overly increase the humidity level of the tank especially if you live in a country that naturally humid.
Aside this, it is still considered to be one of the best bedding for ball python snakes.
Zen Garden PZG Premium Artificial Grass Patch
This can actually work well if you have multiple pieces of it, you can quickly change and remove the soiled pieces with clean ones as soon as you can. In that way, you’ll have enough time to clean and dry it off as long as you want. These materials are very to clean, durable and can last for a long time. Plus, You get to save more money with these.
The badside is that the appearance of the artificial grass may deteriorate from being repeatedly washed and your python cannot burrow in it. But it can be comfortable for them since it copies the texture of real grass.
It’s fairly cheap on Amazon, can measure for up to 36” by 24”, and contains 325 sheets of newsprint. This is much better than using old newspapers because newspapers can imprint on a pet’s skin when wet.
The only con to newspaper bedding as substrate for your snake is that it is not visually appealing and can a bit bad in the enclosure.
Reptichip Premium Coconut Substrate
Like the best ball python substrate for humidity we have discussed above, this one can also absorb liquids and odors and retains humidity really well.
It’s no wonder it made our list of best bedding for ball pythons.
It is 100% organic and very long lasting. The product is also relatively clean, it doesn’t mites or any of the nasty bugs, it is dust-free, and since it can retain humidity well, you won’t have to mist the enclosure constantly.
The only downside of this product is that it is compressed and packed into a giant brick of chipped coconut, which you’ll have to add water to break it apart. But once you add it with water, it can expand to up to 2.5 cubic feet.
If you want to do beddings like these, you should at least get a couple of pieces so that you can change it with a new one while you clean the soiled one.
It is very easy and useful to find in shops since a lot of people also use this as bedding for their pets. At times, you can even find unwanted pieces from garage sales. Not only that, they are cheap and can be used multiple time.
The downside is it gets soiled easily and should be changed on a regular basis.
Aside from the products above, you can also use a corrugated cardboard as your ball python’s bedding. They come in sheets, easy to cut to easily fit in the enclosure, inexpensive, highly absorbent, and provide a very good exterior for your python.
You can also simply change the soiled ones with new paper towel as soon as you can. Though, this isn’t suitable if your pet often burrows on its bedding, but still a good option.
Like newsprints, the downside is that it doesn’t look really pretty in the enclosure.
If you are too lazy to go to the grocery store, then you can order a bundle of them in Amazon.
Lugarti Natural Bedding
This does not contain bugs or other kinds of insects in it. Aside from being natural bedding, you can also mold it, make a landscape from it, and create a firm tunnel or burrows that won’t collapse.
This substrate stays firm but is still easy enough for the pet to burrow itself in it.
Also, it is not heavy, messy, won’t mold, and can absorb odors inside the enclosure. You can also use this bedding to grow plants with.
I think the only downside from it is that it’s a bit expensive than other beddings.
The Humidity Level
On the other hand, if you already live in a place where it high in humidity then you can just buy one of the products above that doesn’t increase the humidity level of the tank. Keeping a good temperature in the tank is one of the key points to keep your snake healthy.
About Substrate and Furnishings
In their wild habitat, most python species tend to live in grassland and savannahs habitat and primarily residing in rodent burrows underground.
The relative humidity underground is much higher than one above ground. The savannah s not a moist environment, but pythons also tend to do well with a secure hide filled with damp moss.
Most snakes are shy; by staying in a tight and mossy place, the snake will feel secure and safer than in open spaces.
When using or making beddings for snakes, avoid using beddings made from cedar because it is toxic and harmful to all kinds of snakes.
And when you design your snake pet’s terrarium, always keep in mind that snakes have a secretive nature. They like places where they can constantly hide. So please provide them with a lot of hiding places in all the cool and warm regions of its enclosure.
Plus, add climbing structures where your snakes can coil themselves up, avoid over-crowding your pet’s tank.
Maintaining the Snake’s Enclosure
It is necessary and important always to keep your python’s tank clean and spotless. If there are traces of feces and urine in the tank, get rid of them as soon as possible.
You can do a full tank cleaning every 30 days, remove all cage accessories and change all the used substrate thoroughly with water and allow it to dry completely before returning or replacing the beddings, the snake, and its accessories.
As earlier mentioned, pythons have a secretive nature and love places where they can hide. A good example of cage accessories is a couple of hiding boxes.
Flowerpots also make a great hide box for them.
Why is Bedding Important?
Humidity, humidity, humidity! The ability of your chosen Ball Python bedding and any snake bedding to absorb water is one of the vital keys for a happy home.
You want to keep your Ball Python hydrated so that it can remain healthy in its warm environment and keep its ability to shed its skin when the time comes easily. This is why you constantly want to buy the best ball python substrate for humidity.
When it comes to snake substrate, your choice is important to your pet’s health and also helps improve the look of your home.
I know it might sound weird (as many snakes already look attractive) but setting up a natural-looking spot filled with aspen shavings or coconut husks compared with tatty newspaper clippings brightens their life and the room.
Lastly, it is the foundation of your Ball Python’s life. You want it to be as happy with your choice of the substrate as you were when you pressed the “Checkout” button on Amazon. This is where your snake will use the restroom, dig, and shed its precious skin. You need it to be comfortable, able to support your snake’s most important hobbies, and easy to clean up.
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Choosing the Right Bedding for You
It’s crucial to select bedding that fits your snake and its habitats, but it also comes down to the fact that various choices may be perfect for your Ball Python. The next decision can come from three different places:
- The general appearance of the substrate
- How easy/simple it is to clean
- The degree of natural feeling it gives your snake
Most natural products like Cypress, Aspen, and Coconut will create a nice setting for your snake to live in. All three look great and are good choices for your Ball Python’s needs.
A simpler and perhaps cheapest bedding for ball pythons that is sometimes used is paper towels and newspapers.
People like that it’s relatively cheap and easy to clean, but they don’t look as nice when you walk by the tank and see bright white paper towels spotted with all kinds of mystery substances. Despite what your local paper towel commercials claim, they aren’t very absorbent in the way that is needed when caring for a Ball Python.
Many snake owners want to give their snakes a natural feel within their tanks. In the wild, Ball Pythons are commonly found in African Savannahs and forests.
For a natural feel, it’s hard to replicate one exactly, but any natural bedding material will do. For example, Cypress Mulch and some coconut substrates have a great color to allow ample space and flexibility for your snake to burrow and create holes.
With any bedding you choose, it is important to stay watchful. You want to clean as you go as much as possible to extend the life of your chosen bedding. Different types of bedding have their timelines, but I’ve seen an average of 30-60 days recommended for replacing your Ball Python’s substrate.
- Reptile Carpet – Can’t handle big messes, really hard to clean
- Cedar/Pine Shavings — Oils cause neurological damage in reptiles
- Sand — Dusty, doesn’t hold humidity at all
- Carefresh — Dusty, can’t hold humidity
- Reptibark — Based off fir (pine) bark and not kiln-dried
Whichever substrate you pick, spot cleans a necessary. Because of snake feces and urine, total changes of bedding and tank cleaning may be required often.
If for some reason, your python has managed not to make a mess for an entire month, the substrate should be replaced monthly, or at very least every quarter.
Although one can frequently save a lot of money by buying non-reptile branded items, the substrate is often an exception. Cypress mulch, in particular, can be contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, or even mites.
If you are still worried about the contamination after purchasing cypress mulch from the pet store, soak the bag of the substrate in water, spread it on a baking sheet, then bake in the oven at 250 degrees for an hour or so (until dry).
It is highly advised that you avoid Pine in your snake’s tank at all costs. Cedar and Pine have both been known to be toxic to snakes and reptiles. It is better to choose something like Aspen or Cypress.
A lot of snake owners have discovered it best to change the bedding every 30-60 days to keep their python cleaner, healthy and to keep out strong odor from the tank.
Paper towels and Newspapers are good because they make it easy to clean up the tank when it’s dirty.
You shouldn’t use paper bedding for snakes that like to create holes and hide under substrate because there is nowhere for them to go.
Paper bedding sucks at keeping in humidity, so it’s not the best choice to help regulate tank temperature and moisture.
The most common bedding for ball pythons is probably aspen shavings. Aspen is easy to spot clean and easy to replace entirely. I personally use it as my preferred bedding for ball pythons and haven’t regretted a thing.
Although pine shavings and cedar are not ideal for use in snake cages, aspen shavings make a good substrate. Use these shavings with smaller snakes and those that don’t need high humidity.
Generally speaking, aspen shavings are a pretty good substrate for ball python habitats. Aspen shavings as a ball python cage substrate is cheap too.
Ball Pythons typically go to the bathroom only 1-2 times a week, so spot cleaning frequently is easy. Change the substrate completely every 1-2 months, or more often if needed. Ball Python enclosures should be cleaned frequently with a 5% bleach solution, then be allowed to air dry.
- Use Glass enclosures to keep the humidity in the terrarium higher
- Choose Porous Substrate
- Think Deep
- Mix the Soil
- Add Moss
- Mist Often
- Choose a Large Water Dish
- Select a Special Terrarium
To be honest, these snakes need belly heat, for one, and secondly, bulbs dry out the enclosure too much. Ball Pythons need 60% humidity, and up to 80% while in shed. Too high humidity can lead to respiratory infection.
Heat lamps come in colored bulbs (some labeled day & night) and also in non-light emitting ceramic bulbs. Both are great sources of heat for many reptiles, but are not great for Ball Pythons. They require belly heat, not basking heat. Never use a heat rock with a Ball Python.
Provide your ball python with a temperature of 88 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit and an ambient temperature of 78 to 80 degrees. The ambient temperature should not go lower than 75 degrees. It is equally important to know the temperatures at which you are keeping your snake(s).
It is among the top 3 heaviest snakes. Like all pythons, it is a nonvenomous constrictor. There have been reports of people who have been killed (and in at least two reported cases, eaten) by reticulated pythons.
Yes, like humans, they too can over-eat and become obese just like us. They can get full and then decide not to eat for a couple of weeks, months, etc. and throw off their feeding schedule. Sometimes if you overfeed them, or offer a prey item that is too large they will regurgitate it.
Male (in captivity): 30 years
The ball python (Python regius), also known as the royal python, is a python species found in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a nonvenomous constrictor. This is the smallest of the African pythons and is well known in the pet trade, largely due to its small size and typically docile temperament.
There you have it; these are the best bedding for ball pythons you can choose from in the market for your python’s tank.
This substrate will help you make your pet live much better by adding good flooring to your pet’s enclosure.
Ensure you buy the appropriate bedding for your pet when selecting the best bedding for ball python and best-ball python substrate for humidity. Then, depending on preference, pick off the one that can give a nice visual appeal on the tank, easy to clean and change, and most importantly, is liked by your pet python.